Aidan's Way: The Story of a Boy's Life and a Father's Journeyby Sam T. Crane, George T. Crane, Sam Crane
…Aidan’s crisis had liberated me in a way. We had come close to death, had looked over the edge of the precipice, and then moved back. He
This life we’re given comes in its own season and then follows its vanishing away. If you’re at ease in your season, if you can dwell in its vanishing, joy and sorrow never touch you. This is what the ancients called getting free.
…Aidan’s crisis had liberated me in a way. We had come close to death, had looked over the edge of the precipice, and then moved back. He would die at some point, perhaps young, maybe very young. He was profoundly disabled, even more so than he had been before. But his near-death had altered my vision. The length of his life or the physical particulars of his life were not as important as the mere fact of his life itself. He was following along in his own season, moving on the currents of the Way.…
I could feel myself starting to get free. From Aidan’s Way
Sam Crane, a professor of Asian Studies, has to cope with more than he ever imagined when his son Aidan is born with severe disabilities. Turning to the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu—he comes to understand Aidan. Gradually, we become aware of Aidan’s profound impact on others, including his father, his family and the larger community.
Aidan’s Way is an endlessly inspiring account of parental love and devotion, of the lessons of ancient eastern philosophy and of what it means, ultimately, to be human.
About the Author: Sam Crane is the Chair of the Department of Asian Studies at Williams College; he has written scholarly books and articles as well as numerous articles in the popular press, such as the New York Times and Salon.com on his son Aidan. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Never scanting the heartaches and medical emergencies, never maudlin or under any illusions about outcome, Crane nonetheless finds affirmation and comfort in accepting what good can be gleaned from his family’s heartbreak. Aidan appeared normal when he was born in western Massachusetts. But ten days later, he developed seizures that affected his breathing, was rushed to hospital and placed in the pediatric ICU, the first of the countless anguished medical emergencies. A CAT scan revealed that his brain was malformed; although outwardly normal, he would never speak, see, or walk. Sam, a professor of Asian Studies at a nearby university, and Maureen, a trained nurse, learned how to medicate their son’s seizures, exercise his limbs, and give him as many rewarding experiences as they could. They decided to have another child despite the risks, but shortly after Margaret was born healthy and normal, Aidan suffered a massive grand mal seizure so damaging that he will always have to be fed by a tube and can no longer kick or coo as he once did. While Aidan endured these endless traumas, Sam began studying anew the Chinese classics he taught, looking for wisdom that might apply to their situation. The philosopher Chuang Tzu offered him the most persuasive solace: "all lives are contingent and limited . . . we never find all that we are looking for [and] cannot escape death." Comforted, Sam began to appreciate all that Aidan would not have to experience in his life and to acknowledge that, although his son’s existence had curtailed his travel, it had led him towrite and to enter local politics while seeking more funds for the school Aidan now attends.
One of those rare stories about family tragedy: both remarkably perceptive and lacking in self-pity.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.96(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.11(d)
Meet the Author
Sam Crane is Chair of the Department of Asian Studies at Williams College. He has written scholarly books and articles, as well as numerous articles in the popular press, such as the New York Times and Salon.com on his son Aidan. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >