His father affectionately called him AJ; his wife called him sweetie; my children called him Granddad; my husband called him Dad; I called him Alan.
October 2, 2012 – the world lost a great man.
I know this site is generally about laughter and levity, but mostly it is a commentary on life. And life is not always fair and happy. Alan John Cranch was a man of honour, integrity, intelligence, humour, and honesty. He was the sort of man who could join any conversation. He was a good listener. He was a good father. He was a doting husband who obviously enjoyed sharing his life with Pat. He is missed deeply.
This last week has led me to an epiphany. I was born an Arnholz, and in my mind I will always carry that name. But this last week I have thought a lot about carrying forward the Cranch name. Marc was the last of the Cranch male children, and we have been fortunate to have two boys. These two will carry on the Cranch name – but more importantly they will carry the burden of living up to the Cranch name. The bar was set by their Granddad, and the bar was set high. The expectation that I have is that they will continue to make the Cranch name synonymous with living a life connected to humanity and honour. They have a good teacher in their father, and a good example in their grandfather. They are well on their way to success in this endeavour. And part of my role is to ensure they succeed.
I will speak at the funeral tomorrow and I will do my best to portray with words how this great man lived his life. Fortunately I will be speaking to a room that already knows how Alan lived his life. I will do my best to offer small words of comfort to the family who will finally be able to put aside the busyness that follows a family death, and finally begin the healing journey. I will hope to share a story that will bring some levity to the room and allow people to begin the process of sharing our favorite “Alan” stories, which will be voluminous. I will try to honour the man, the grandfather, the brother, the father and the husband. I will try.
Alan – I miss you. I was one of the fortunate ones who got to see you in your last lucid moments and I saw traces of the man who had an endless supply of compassion and humility. You had such a grace and ease about you that I felt compelled to adopt this grace, as much as was possible at such a difficult moment. You have taught me to embrace life, and you have taught me to accept death.
Alan – I miss you. I remember the strength and warmness of your hugs. You were a strong and strict man, who held tight to your belief in doing the right thing. And yet you were comfortable in showing your emotions. You held me close when I lost my own father and offered me comfort and hope. You showed glee when holding your young grandsons, but you were firm with offering them appropriate discipline. The boys will remember you fondly.
Alan – I miss you. I can hear your laughter, always shared without restraint. I can see the smile creeping across your face when you are planning some mildly devious plot. I can see the joy when you speak about your Avro Arrow models or remote control helicopters. I feel the warmth of your hand when placed upon mine in times of need.
Alan – I miss you.