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Our Livia Lanier, simply a superstar

Livia Lanier Geiger was born four years and two days after the miracle birth of her sister May Melton. May Melton arrived after a troubled pregnancy, much prayer and, quite frankly, a series of miracles. Livia Lanier arrived without any problem. She has been the well-adjusted second child since she was in the womb. When we whisked May Melton off to her first appointment with the pediatrician, both of us carried legal pads to take notes. The veteran moms in the waiting room laughed at us. Livia Lanier never went to her six-week appointment with the pediatrician. She was thriving and we were busy. May Melton labeled her little sister Pink Glitterball before she was born. She has shone brightly ever since. With a big sister to keep up with, Livia crawled very early and was walking at eight months. She loved to climb and often clambered up the open door of the refrigerator. She toddled, then walked, then ran along behind May Melton everywhere she went. Livia did not get the overprotection her sister got. She didn’t need it. There is nothing fragile about her. There never has been. Once while her diaper was being changed atop the dryer, she rolled off, hit the floor and did not even whimper. As a toddler, she fell head-over-heels all the way down a long staircase as I was making the morning coffee. Horrified, I ran to check on her. She just giggled. At another point, she fell, or possibly was pushed by a certain big sister, into an ice cold pond. She just shook it off. May Melton took up dance. Livia followed. May Melton took up soccer, Livia followed her there too and found a home. She quickly developed into the athlete I always wanted to be but wasn’t. She showed early ability and was recruited for a club team at the age of eight. We spent the next 10 years traveling to soccer fields all over the place and enjoyed every minute of it. She was fast, strong and tough. Club soccer made her even tougher. Her goal was to start for her high school team. She started the first game of her freshman year and every game thereafter for which she was not injured. She was a force to be reckoned with; a natural born leader. In that first high school game she was in a violent collision with another older, much larger player. She popped up. The other girl stayed down until Livia helped her up. ‘She’s tough,’ her coach told us, affirming what we already knew. Livia suffered a broken kneecap and a torn meniscus and battled back from both rapidly. Once she suffered a burst cyst that sent her to the emergency room. She played in a tournament in North Carolina that weekend. Doctors were amazed at her high tolerance for pain. She got that from her grandfather Quimby Melton. Livia is so much more than a great athlete. She excels at everything she does. She was in the Top 10 in her senior class of 307, graduated with high honors and as National Honor Society qualifier. She is the perfect blend of sweets, smarts, good looks and brains – all of which she got from her mother. She mastered dance and was working en pointe in ballet when the broken kneecap put her in a wheelchair for awhile. Livia has a fluid grace. She shocked us when she sang and danced on stage as Mrs. Hannigan in a school production of ‘˜Annie’. She outshone the spotlight trained upon her. She stole the show. Livia has the ability to catch fish when no one else can. She got that from my grandfather, J.H. Lanier. She also has a strong Christian faith and has been a mentor and a comfort to family and friends. She has a servant’s heart. Once May Melton was driving and came upon a man who had suffered a medical issue, fallen off his bike and collapsed in the middle of a busy street. Livia was out of the car before it came to a stop and was the first to offer aid. She led the group of bystanders in praying over the unconscious man who later died. Family members later contacted us to say how much that final prayer meant to them. Liv has been going to football games in Athens since before she could walk. She has always wanted to be a Bulldog. She was at the office when she learned she had been accepted for early admission to UGA. She screamed and hollered in excitement. We rejoiced with her. Livia has grown into a beautiful, talented young woman. In a few short weeks she will be off to Athens – again following in her sister’s footsteps. I know she will excel at UGA. She has always excelled. We are blessed. Simply put, our Pink Glitterball is a superstar. Just watch her sparkle!

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