Although Father’s Day usually calls for celebration at EphBlog — a time to remember and rejoice in all that our fathers have done for us — this year my thoughts return to the life and death of Aidan Crane.

Here is the eulogy that Professor Sam Crane gave for his son.

In fourteen years Aidan connected with more people than any one of us can know. He filled a large place in the world.

His effects on the people who met him were numerous and varied.

Aidan often brought out the good in people. This was especially true for the children around him. When he was in school here in Williamstown his classmates made him a part of their doings in countless ways. They knew he could not see, and that it was best to engage him through his sense of touch. Many a day it was, when he would come home from school and we would find flowers and pebbles and sticks and grass tucked in the crevices of his wheelchair, the daily evidence of how his friends had brought him things to feel and sense, to connect him to their surroundings

He also moved many of the adults who encountered him. I remember some years ago, we were up in Manchester. We rolled into a little restaurant to have some lunch. Maureen went up to the counter to order some food. I stayed with Aidan and Maggie, who was then just an infant. We ate. It was all fairly normal. But then a man, who had been sitting at a nearby table, got up and came over. A complete stranger. And, out of the blue, he said he had noticed us, and what a beautiful family we were, and how lucky we were to have each other. This was Aidan’s work. Aidan had inspired him.

And Sam Crane inspires me and, I am sure, many other Eph fathers. May we all be the sort of fathers to our children that Sam is to his.

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