Happy Birthday Lance

Lance with Mt. Everest in the distance

Today would have been Lance’s 44th Birthday. That makes me sad. People asked me if Father’s Day would be hard not knowing that his birthday was just a week away. I knew this would be harder. Not because we would have had a big celebration. We wouldn’t have. Lance never really liked celebrating his birthday too much. What makes me sad is to think he would have been 44 and it is a reminder of how young he was. He used to always say (pre-diagnosis) “I’m old” but as soon as he was diagnosed, he was suddenly “so young.”

The one thing that gives me solace on this otherwise sorrowful day, is Lance lived half the time that the majority of us will live but the time he did live, he lived it big. Anyone that knew Lance knew how much he lived life fully. He lived passionately, courageously, and enthusiastically.

A voracious reader who traveled the world, skied like a mad man, built companies from scratch while being an awesome dad, husband and friend, built everything from kitchens to bathrooms to tree houses and real houses (maybe not to perfection but hey..at least he did it), did 10 day solo vision quests, summited Kilimanjaro, traveled with the Bedouin’s in the Middle East (Syria & Jordan), hiked to Everest base camp, scuba dived in the Red Sea at night during a full moon, went on an African safari in a do it yourself way (not high end), climbed to the top of the pyramids in Egypt (I think illegal now and maybe then too ;)) and ran barefoot (these are just a few of the things that come to mind).

Lance was a “can do” guy. There was nothing he felt that he couldn’t accomplish. I am continually reminded by others how Lance lived the lives of three people combined and that gives me comfort. One friend said to me recently, “Lance was too much of an adventurer not to come back and visit.” Hoping for that too…

So on this day, I am going to go hike in the mountains behind our house, reminisce about all the things Lance achieved big and small and give thanks to his spirit that was and is such a big inspiration in my life.

Happy Birthday Lance. I miss you.


47 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Lance

  1. Happy birthday Lance. I miss you too. Love seeing this photo of him with his beautiful hair blowing in the breeze. What a full life he had, it’s comforting to hear all the adventures he had and inspires me to live and love to the fullest, every day. Thanks for sharing all of this – it helps me. Thinking of you and sending you lots of love today.

  2. Wishing that marvelous man Happy Birthday wherever he may be. Just reading all he has done reminds me to hold onto the adventurer within and to move onward with love and light, and most of all, spirit in my heart. Looking forward to being with you and the kids and helping to hold the torch of adventure for you all as well….

  3. Happy birthday, Lance. Wherever your spirit adventures this year, your life inspires me here. I will do something, I will see something, I will learn and embrace something new, and I will think of you.
    Love, Sandra

  4. Happy Birthday Lancey. You indeed did live LARGE. I’m doing my best to honour that and do great ‘large’ things from now on. Miss you loads. xx

  5. I woke up and knew that today was Lance’s birthday (its also three other friend’s birthdays, and one day after my dad’s) and was wondering how you were feeling on this day (so thank you very much for yet another wonderfully poignant blog entry). I had a dream the night before that Lance visited me. My dream literally was Lance waking me up, and as he sat by my bed he apologized for not coming out to visit me and others more often, especially once he knew he had cancer, but he said, he just really wanted and needed to be with you and the kids, which I of course said I totally understood. It all seemed so natural and I thanked him for stopping by and we hugged and said goodbye, just like we would have any other time we parted. So, to your friend’s comment about Lance being such an adventurer that he has to come by and visit-I absolutely agree and feel like he’s already making the rounds! I forgot to wish him a happy birthday though. Happy Birthday Lance!

  6. You took the words right out of my mouth!!! I’ve been mourning his departure from a distance, in my own little world. I’m sure you’ll understand how I share the sadness of sooo many of your other friends – who like me had their hopes shattered when we heard that he was gone!!!! I haven’t been able to reach out to you – to tell you I am sooo sorry…perhaps because I am also sorry for myself…for losing a beautiful friend!!! I’ve talked about him incessantly with my significant other, and close friends. They all know how much I admired him for living soooooo LARGE!!! Lance could not be contained, or ever cloned.

    I know that God must have started to make Lance’s mold early some Friday morning!! Since he needed to continue working on that mold all through Saturday…until he was done. Then he took Sunday off!! Since He must’ve felt beat after building this high-octane, highly energetic, spiritual, well-rounded, all-man man!!! I’m also sure God could not recreate another spirit that he could fit in Lance’s mold again!!!

    But Lance’s life would make a fascinating story if he’d lived his 43+ years on his own. You, and the beautiful children that you made together is what completed him. You 3 are why his life story has now become his legacy!!

    You are loved, and cherished. Your bravery, commitment, and love is admired!

  7. Happy Birthday, Lance! What a powerful teacher you are! Thank you for being so vibrantly engaged in living. Thank you for being so vibrantly engaged in healing. Thank you for being so vibrantly engaged in loving. I remain so thankful to have known you and to have been touched by your spirit of adventure!

    Blessings to Nancy and your children!


  8. Happy Birthday Lance. Talked about you to your aunt, my momma Millie today. You are much on her mind today. We cried together but there was joy mixed with the sorrow. Love, cousin Sharon

  9. Adventurous at heart, living life large, projects galore, heart of gold, barefoot man we miss you.
    Paddle boarding in the moonlight tonight with your in my heart!
    Happy Birthday!xo

  10. Happy Birthday Lance. Recently, there have been so many blue herons at the farm… I like to imagine that you are one of these herons. They are so beautiful and courageous. Lance what are you seeing on this new adventure? what do you know now? I am missing you wherever you are… my fabulous, creative and adventure hungry friend.

  11. I’m sitting on a park bench in the sun… Wishing I was talking to you right now Nancella! ( but another friend beat me to it..eh!!? 😉 )
    I loved hearing your voice today if only for a second. And I love reading this blog and hearing your voice through your words…
    And as I was reading just now, a beautiful butterfly came and landed right next to me- so close that I wanted to put my finger out and hold it. But I imagined that it is Lance and we sat here in still silence together for longer than i thought we would…
    And then it was over- our little visit- so i said happy birthday lance…
    And I felt a teeny bit of envy as he flew away ….I want to know what it is like where he is… But knowing he got there first, I’m sure he’ll be there waiting to show us all the way!
    Happy Birthday Lancey Pants!
    I love you here and there
    And everywhere!

  12. Happy Birthday Lance romance. Or if you prefer , one of my favs , Lancelot, or just the Shambala warrior that you still are. I am thinking of you everyday as I am of your lovely family.

  13. Happy Birthday Lance….Nancy – i hope your heart aches less as you celebrate his day Lance style. Love you…..

  14. happy birthday Lance, love you brother! Chewy and I have been talking since you left us, and we both agree you are the catalyst for us to re-evaluate….EVERYTHING, xoxoxox

  15. Thinking of you and your family today on Lance’s birthday. May his current adventures bring you some strong signs today (and everyday) to let you know that he is surrounding you with love. Your words are beautiful, as always.

  16. Happy Birthday, Lance! We did a jig for you at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival this past weekend – I felt like you were there with your friends to enjoy the music and dance the night away! Thinking of you, Nan!

  17. Happy Birthday, Lance! We are thinking of you where ever you may be watching your family from. I love the photo, Nance! So peaceful and magnificant!

  18. Nan, thanks so much for posting this today. I was lucky enough to spend his 40th with him on our vision quest fast. The evening was filled with an incredible sunset over Long’s Peak., like a glorious celebration for his existence. Lance was rattling and chanting away in the distance. I will always remember what great energy Lance brought to that adventure and how it and having him there changed my life. I am grateful. Happy Birthday, pal. Nan, thanks for sharing so much.

  19. Nancy, Thanks for your beautiful words today and all the days since Lance passed over. You remain in the heart and mind of your many friends during these sad days. I am humbled by your writing; always accenting gratitude in the midst of grief. Love to you and yours.

  20. What a lucky man Lance is to have you by his side and to share more about the life he lived. I didn’t know Lance well, but have learned so much about him, his sense of adventure, the love you two share and the father that he is through your blogs. Thank you for continuing share his remarkable life.

  21. Ahh, like the saying goes, ” it’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” Nice job cherishing the memories and the man, Nancy. Happy Birthday, Lance!

  22. In life and his departure, Lance has taught me to celebrate everyday. His presence on this earth is missed. Happy Birthday to Lance and big warm hugs to Nancy, Zack and Amelie.

  23. Happy birthday, Lancey. My mom passed away from cancer two days before her birthday and it was very sad. Birthdays are hard because its a celebration of that person being born. Lance made so many people happy and the world was so much better with him around. His birthday is extra special. Thanks for posting, Nance.

  24. happy birthday fancy pants. You did live BIG!! So much bigger than many 88 year olds I know. Love all of you

  25. i had forgotten that Alec and Lance shared this birthday.
    i will now never ever forget.
    it must be something with this particular day – that it bears witness to the birth of wild and sometimes crazy (in the good way) men.
    so as i kiss my 4 year old goodnight and wish him happy birthday i am also wishing a happy birthday to your man who may have been physically taken from this earth far too soon but his spirit will permeate forever.

  26. Happy Birthday Lance! We miss you so much. What an amazing photo this is Nancy. He looks like a true mountain man. My kinda guy!! Big hugs to you and kids on this day dear one. Sending you lots of love!!

    • Happy Birthday my brother Lance…..you looked awesome up there on Mt. Everest with long hair !!!! Peace Nance, hope to hear your voice soon !
      love you

  27. Happy Birthday Lance! Driving down the road the other day, I turned a corner to find a younger man in an orange monk outfit with a long white beard riding a mountain bike down the road as fast as he could go! This is NOT a common scene in suburban Maryland! I had been asking for signs that Lance was well and this one made me laugh for days…thanks for the gift! Also, thank you for all your eloquent words Nancy — they are so helpful to healing and I treasure each message you send. TTFN – Kimmy

  28. I picture Lance clomping around the fourth floor of Farrand Hall in his Sorrels and I smile. He’s carefree and happy. At the time, of course, I had no idea of the incredible journey his life would take and of all the wonderful things he would accomplish. He did so much, and with you at his side, Nancy, he became the man he was meant to be–one who inspired and motivated, and showed compassion and insight.

    I added Lance to my nightly mediation back in February 2011, and I held on to that mental snapshot of him in Farrand as I chanted for his good health. Now I picture you and the kids during my nightly ritual, as I say, “May you be happy, and may you be free from pain.” I can’t imagine how hard this all is. You handle it with such grace.

    The other day, my 10-year-old was sharing a hard experience she had, and I told her, “I wish my love were a blanket that I could wrap around you and protect you from all the hurt out there.” While we can’t stop hard times from happening, I do hope our “blankets” provide support and comfort. Right now I’m picturing mine wrapped around you and your family as you heal, grieve, laugh, and love.

    Happy birthday, Lance.


  29. Nancy it is so brilliant that you are writing such wonderful stories and memories of Lance. I only knew him briefly and it is great to know him in my depth from your writings. Love to you and the kids. Merry

  30. Birthday Belated Blessings to Lance! Overdue blessings and much love and light to you Nancy and the kids. Your blog is beautifully written and your strength and spirit has taught us all so much. Lance is missed very much! May each day, week, celebration and triumph continue fill you all the with the love and inspiration he shines upon you.


  31. Hi Nancy-Walter Peter told me to read more the other day when we were in the airport. I had to smile because I do read, but I told him that I knew that was Lance talking. Peter just kind of smiled -it was a good moment but a sad one. He never would have said or believed something like that without Lance. I hope he remembers everything that Lance told him.

  32. Unbelievable! He did all that? Wow, he lived a lifetime + vs. what most of us will ever do in 10 lifetimes.

    Happy belated, Lance!


  33. Happy Belated Birthday Lance-

    What a beautiful post Nance to honor your man. And, I love that pic-

    My husband, Ryan said to me after Lance’s passing that it seemed Lance lived more in his lifetime than most people and as you know, Ryan never met him. It is just so clear that Lance lived large!

    huge hugs to you during this intense time-and love to Zach and Amalie too.



  34. Just another note to echo the many that have appeared here already. I personally didn’t know Lance, but my husband, Niranjan Krishnaiah, met him while he was a marketing director at Caribou Coffee and Lance traveled there for Justin’s. He told me at the time what a genuine, kind person he had met. A year later, we missed Boulder terribly so my we moved back to Boulder and he contacted Lance about some job networking. Lance met with him and helped him network here in Boulder. We were both so sad to hear the news of his passing, and what you are doing with this website is so amazing and inspirational. Best wishes to you and your family.

  35. I have not chimed here much at all. I really only knew Lance closely for a brief time long ago but we managed to stay in touch ever so often over the years. I always had a fondness for him as many do and we had some kind of connection that we all do with a number of people over the course of our lives.

    I was never able to tell him how I found out about his illness. It came to me in very profound dream. I had not spoken with him for a year or so and out of no where one night I had a dream that we were in an open loft and he was sitting on a bed holding his head in pain. I had never met your children but I heard who I knew to be them on the other side of the wall banging for their father. I walked towards the wall and noticed a hole. I looked back at Lance and there was blood all over the bed and he was still holding his head in pain.

    I woke up very disturbed. I went to look on Facebook to find his page that morning so I could see him I suppose. The page was gone. I found this to be odd so I Googled his name and an article popped up immediately that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was flabbergasted. I sent him a text to him and he responded back that he was fighting it. I told him I would tell him someday how I learned of it and that was the last exchange I ever had with him directly. I of course joined the Caring Bridge and have been reading all your posts ever since.

    Nancy, I have never met you but I god…I must tell you that I think you are an awesome and beautiful woman. He was so lucky to have you to stand by him. My profound condolences and love to you. The grace with which you have handled this all the way through is inspiring and lovely.

    When the post came that he had died I was so very sad. I cannot read a single one of these posts without becoming so very sad about his death. I always get them while I am sitting at my desk working and it’s like a little explosion. It is also a full reminder of the fragility and beauty of life.

    As I said, I have not spoken much here save for a few “thinking of you and your family” type posts but really needed to share and get this off my chest. I had never shared the dream with anyone that knew Lance or Lance himself and needed to. I am surprised as to how sad this has made me considering I did not spend any time with him since about 1993! But it has and it continues to do so.

    I hope you are well Nancy. I am sure Lance’s soul is happy where ever he may be. A thousand blessings to you and your children and a Happy Birthday to your spirit Lance. This seemed like the best place to share my thoughts and feelings.


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