Italian actor Andrea Roncato is an actor and comedian, unfamiliar in America but known in his home country for living something of a wild life—the kind that’s fodder for tabloids and gossip shows. At the age of 80, he has apparently left drugs behind, but his romantic life is still raising some eyebrows.
It may come as a surprise, therefore, that he recently gave a moving prolife testimony during a television interview on the Italian entertainment show Verissimo. Roncato, who is childless, told the host:
I miss having a child. It was the mistake of my life. When I was very young, I had the chance to become a father, to have a child, but I had him aborted. Now, I’ve become very strongly against abortion. I even wrote a book for this child who was never born, titled I Would Have Liked You [‘T’avrei voluto’ in Italian].
In another interview, with Cristiani Today, he admitted that he constantly asks God to forgive him. Roncato has had a change of heart, and has come to appreciate the gift of life. During the Verissimo interview, he said,
“I think that children are the only true wealth that a man can give the world. You can give good movies, beautiful poetry, money, whatever you want, but I believe that giving a child is the most beautiful thing a man can do.”
Here is a translation of a poem he wrote for the child he had aborted so many years ago, published in the book he mentioned in the interview:
I would have liked you to be small, so I could hug you.
I would have liked you to be big, so I could lean on you.
I would have liked you to be looking out the window in winter, watching the snow begin to fall.
I would have liked you to be lying under the covers during a storm, silent so you could hear the sound of the rainfall.
I would have liked you to be kind to dogs, so you could pet them,
and affectionate with the elderly, so you could love them.
I would have liked you to be handsome, so I could brag about you,
with big eyes, like your mother’s.
I would have liked to sing to you, to make you fall asleep, and continue the dream that woke you up.
I would have liked you to be shy, so I could see you blush,
and stubborn, so I could argue with you.
I would have liked you to be at my side, so the two of us could walk in silence,
trying to understand what the other was thinking inside and couldn’t manage to say.
I would have liked to teach you all the things I don’t know how to do.
I would have liked you to leave someday, so I could have the pleasure of seeing you come back home.
I would have liked you to experience your first love.
I would have liked you near me on the day I must leave this world.
I wish I had wanted you, that time when I didn’t want you …
A father’s sorrow for his son’s death by abortion 27 years later