Tuesday, November 13, 2012

18 Years

18 years ago at this time, I had just met the man who would become my husband. We met at church in the College Sunday School Class at Parkview Baptist Church.  I knew Lance's roommate Charlie.  Charlie had invited Lance to Sunday School which was a HUGE class at the time.  I didn't meet him during Sunday School the first day he was there.  That afternoon my sister and I went to CORTANA mall (LOL), and he, Charlie and another guy from church were there.  We ran into them, and Charlie introduced my sister and me to Lance Kiger.  We walked away and I thought, "he's a cutie"!  I hadn't dated anyone for a LONG time, so I was FREE!  A couple of weeks later, Parkview had a retreat for the College group.  Lance was there, and we did a lot of talking and getting to know each other that weekend.  His version of the story is that I chased after him, but he (FOR REAL) chased after me.  He was riding bikes through the trails, and asked me to ride back with him.  I told him NO!  It cracks me up when I think of it.  I don't even know how he got that other bike back to the cabins.  I was going to graduate school at Tulane at the time.  He got my number (along with a lot of other peoples' numbers according to him), and he called me several times during the next weeks.  He said they were just "friendly" phone calls, but I beg to differ. I went on a cruise with my brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, Will and Kathy Rogers, and Kami Rogers Lambe the week of Thanksgiving.  I MISSED Lance so much.  These were the days before the hi tech cell phones we have now.  So, it was a whole week before I talked to him.  Right after I returned from the cruise we made it official.  We have been together ever since!  We started dating November 29, 1994.
I graduated from Tulane in May of 1996.  I was living at home with my parents and working full time.  Lance was also working and going back to LSU.  We bought a house in Gonzales in November 1998.  Lance moved in until we were FINALLY married on February 12, 1999.  I had just turned 27 and Lance was 28 (almost 29). We still live in the same house 14 years later.  We thought we would live here for 5 years!!!  We are blessed to have a $700/month house note which is hard to leave behind:)  But we are ready to move.  Hopefully it will happen in the next 6 months.
Lance started his own business in 2004 right around the same time that I quit my job at BCBSLA to stay home with Wyatt.  God has blessed us with steady business through these last 8 years.  Lance is such a hard worker.  He said he never really knew what he wanted to do until he started this business.  His dad also owned his own business, so I guess it was in Lance's blood.
Lance has had more than his share of heartache.  His dad passed away in August 2006.  His two cousins were killed in a traffic accident in April 2010.  We never anticipated anymore heartache.  I guess you think once you have been through a few tragic circumstances perhaps you are exempt.  But the greatest heartache came in July when our precious boy was diagnosed with cancer.  I have never loved Lance more than I have loved him during this crisis in our family.  He has been a rock for me when I can barely stand up.  And I have been that for him as well.  It seems when he is up I am down and vice versa.  The love and care that he has shown to Reid during the last almost 4 months has been so TREMENDOUS.  The tears that we have both shed must have filled up several bottles.  I won't lie and say it hasn't caused stress to our marriage.  It has caused great stress.  But he has loved me through the ROUGHEST TIMES I have ever faced.  And I have loved him even though it has been hard for me to do anything except focus on Reid.  They say that "that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger", so our marriage should be as strong as possible after this trial.
I pray that we never take our focus off of the One who brought us together.  This trial with Reid, and the other trials that Lance has endured have caused us to question God.  I think that any normal person would have a TREMENDOUS amount of questions as to why these bad things happen to good people.  But we know that God is in Heaven.  We know that we will see his dad again in Heaven one day.  We know that he has loved on our 2 babies that we lost through miscarriage. I always picture Mr. Pat rocking them up in Heaven--he loved little babies.  I can't wait until we all meet again.  God didn't promise us that we would live an easy life on this Earth.  For some reason our years together have contained more trials than some people ever endure.  But I pray that we glorify God in our hurting.  I pray that God heals our boy wholly and completely and that our family will tell of His great works until we all go to our eternal home in Heaven.
I don't tell him often enough how much I love him.  I always assume he knows.  So, this is my attempt to write it down for him and for our kids to have in black and white.  I love Lance more than life itself.  He and I go together like peas and carrots.  He makes me laugh on a daily basis, and I aggravate the snot out of him because I am not a neat-freak like he is.  But he knows he loves me despite my imperfections.  And I love all of his imperfections as well.  I am so happy that 18 years ago I realized that I was in love with Lance Kiger.  I have loved him every day since.  Through the ups and downs of this crazy life, he is the "one whom my soul loves".