Want to leave a note? Or a good joke? Or a memory?  Here’s the place!


202 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stephanie cavanaugh
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 13:42:49

    Hey Kirby!! You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. You will be well again. Lucky you are to be so strong — and so surrounded by love and caring. We’ll visit soon. Stephanie and Gregory Cavanaugh


  2. June
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 03:20:14

    I stayed up last night, opened a bottle of Smirnoff Ice (don’t judge!), logged onto Hulu Plus to watch Modern Family, and started folding cranes. My record so far is 1 min 50 seconds per crane, and I challenged Meghan to beat that, while intoxicated :p A little over 100 so far, and I will keep folding. My thoughts are with you and your family. Lots of love, June


  3. Elana
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 04:18:15

    Dear Kirby,

    It was great to see you today. I am so grateful to you for your help with ASL–you have really inspired me to make it a more central piece of the third grade curriculum. I will practice the alphabet in the mirror like you advised and make a list of the signs I want to add to our classroom vocabulary. I hope to see you next weekend!

    Much love,

    P.S. Maybe you can help me with “The steamship is sinking”? My autistic student would really like to be able to sign that.


  4. Jan Greenberg
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 16:51:15

    Yay Kirby! Lots of love coming your way, and hoping to get over to see you this weekend. hugs, Jan


  5. Yael L
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 18:17:30

    Kirby, a bunch of us ex-Smith Hillelians got together to make cranes and practice ASL last night. I can’t tell you on a public forum what words I learned to sign, but I’m sure you can imagine (and, if not, the answer will be on its way by mail soon!). 😉

    So much love,


  6. Lindsey Meyer
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 20:23:06


    I know I haven’t seen you for a while but I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I am hoping for a speedy recovery. I also hope that you will keep your wonderful smile and laugh as they are my favorite things about you :)!


    Lindsey Meyer


  7. Anna
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 20:46:59

    Hi Kirby,

    I know you’re going to get through this, just like I survived my cancer. I still have many cranes made by you and our friends. They have served me well, so I’m sending them to help you now.

    I would strongly recommend that you talk to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance). People come from all over the world to be treated there. They can do phone conversations.

    If your mom would like to talk to someone who’s been through what she’s going through, my mom would be happy to talk.

    Please let me know if I can help in any way.

    Take care of yourself,

    PS Some links:
    facebook for young adults with cancer: (friend me!)
    A national cancer support community:


  8. Ray Sinclair
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 02:26:51

    Kirby, lots of love and concern are headed your way from Ohio. Stay strong.


  9. Elizabeth Lerner
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 17:51:55


    It turns out I shouldn’t quit my day job for crane making. Luckily, Nora is very patient whenever i shove a half-made crane in her hand for some assistance. After a couple of dozen, I’m a lot better – but I keep turning the wings into beaks! Just know that my cranes are no less heartfelt for being a bit deformed…


  10. Bruce Bromberg Seltzer
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 00:29:24

    My family joins me in sending our prayers to you and your family.
    May the new year be one of strength and recovery.
    Rabbi Bruce


  11. architrave
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 15:41:25

    Hi Kirb,
    On behalf of your architrave family, we want you to know you’re in our thoughts and our prayers. Each day upon arrival to the office we await “Kirby news.” Thursday, 29 September 2011, has been named “architrave crane making day.” After a byol we will be taking 30 minutes (ssshhh-don’t tell the powers that be) to make cranes. Margaret is Crane Making Supervisor. Stay strong in faith and spirit. Praying for your speedy, healthy and full recovery.


  12. Morgan
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 17:56:57

    Hi Kirby,
    Saw this site on facebook today…Sad to hear you are not well.
    It has been 9 years since we’ve seen each other/spoken but i am sending positive thoughts / good vibes to you…i wish you and your family well.


  13. Kelly Weidman
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 19:27:50

    Hi Kirby! I know its been a long time since I’ve seen you and I hope you remember me (kate’s bachlorette party) but I wanted to say I’m so sorry to hear the news. but I’m praying for a speedy recovery! Never lose faith, stay strong, i know you will beat this!!

    Kelly Weidman


  14. Cristal
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 20:19:33

    Hi Kirby,
    Sending lots of love and hugs to you. We’re all praying for you to have a speedy and full recovery. I’ve asked several people to add you to their prayer chain. BELIEVE in the power of prayer. I asked Leron if he would visit and play a few songs on his guitar for you. He said he would, but I have to sing. Looking at your schedule, it might be best if we wait until you’re home to give you a personal concert. Keep the faith, stay strong. Love, Hugs and Smooches!!!!


  15. Jean Rhian and Jerry Fairbanks
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 18:27:04

    The captain of a ship goes to the crow’s nest to see the ship that’s been sighted. It’s the enemy. He calls below to send up his red shirt. The sailor says, why do you want that? He says, I don’t want my men to see the blood when I get wounded. They will lose heart. A few minutes later, the captain sees 5 more enemy ships. He calls below to send up his brown pants!

    Thinking of you, Jean and Jerry


  16. Clint
    Oct 01, 2011 @ 02:28:17

    Hi Kirby,

    It’s Clint, the stepbrother of your friend Erin from Smith. My girlfriend Jen (who you may also remember) and I will be thinking of you often. We wish you the best and would love to see you when you come up to VT or Boston next!


  17. Jean Rhian and Jerry Fairbanks
    Oct 02, 2011 @ 19:34:06

    Hi, Kirby,
    Gail and I were wondering if you know how to knit or would like to learn. Knitting is fun and a great (sometimes almost meditative) stress reliever. If you think (know) you would like to try this, we would like to send you a project. Please get back in touch with Gail to let us know. Jerry and I will be on our boat for next week and mostly out of touch.
    Thinking of you……
    Jean Rhian


  18. Judy Hadley
    Oct 02, 2011 @ 23:53:13

    I just had to remove my name from your visiting schedule- I have a cold.
    I’ll wait a few days until it goes away before signing up again. Meanwhile Jack and I are thinking of you.
    See you soon.
    Judy Hadley


  19. Grace Pokela
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 03:49:33

    I’m having my students make you cranes! Also, would you mind if I put a message on facebook calling for cranes?


  20. Rosalie Ray
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 13:45:10

    My favorite joke:
    What kind of cheese doesn’t belong to you?
    NACHO cheese!! (if you don’t get it, say it out loud with an attitude)


  21. Barry Friedman
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 14:09:54

    Kirby– you are in our prayers and I hope this joke makes you laugh (or at least smile)!

    An American tourist is visiting the Kotel, the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, the most holy site in Judaism, and sees one old man praying very fervently. His forehead is resting on the large blocks of stone and he’s beating his chest. He even has tears in his eyes.
    The tourist approaches the old man, tells him how impressed he is with his piety, and asks him what he prays for.
    Old Man: “Good health, peace between the Jews and the Arabs, and prosperity for everyone.”
    Tourist: “And how long have you been coming to pray here?”
    Old Man: “Twice every day for fifty years.”
    Tourist: “And have your prayers been answered?”
    Old Man: “Ach—it’s like talking to a wall!”

    Barry Friedman


  22. Nancy Friedman
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 14:38:34

    And here’s my favorite:
    So the Zen master steps up to the hot dog cart and says: “Make me one with everything.” 
The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill. The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer. When the Zen master asks for change, the hot dog vender says: “Change comes from within.”


  23. Jackie
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 00:01:16

    What a joy to see my three favorites Smithies together again! You take a good picture in your hospital garb but hope you can get home soon and be in some of your own jammies. You definitely look “Kirby strong”. Now off to look for my joke book……….xoJackie


  24. Ellen Bobrow Nestico
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 22:52:11

    Hi Kirby!

    Your website asks for viewers to post their favorite jokes – well, I don’t personally have one, but my two year old daughter told her very first joke the other day and I’m SURE she would want me to share!
    While holding the refrigerater door open and inspecting its contents for a few minutes, I asked, “Lily, what are you looking for?” She cocked her head to the side, looked at me very seriously, and said “Pants.” She looked shocked with herself, wide eyed and speechless at her ability to be humerous – and laughed for twenty minutes! It was, possibly, the silliest scene I have ever witnessed.
    It made me think of you and me, and Leah, and the three of us running around your house at Shabbat dinnersm and I want you to know that my heart and prayers are with you.

    XOXO – Ellen Bobrow Nestico


  25. Milton Shinberg
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 00:40:45

    Some jokes. Just so you don’t expect better, I’m starting with the worst jokes, i.e.
    A guy walks into a bar, dragging a hunk of concrete. The bartender says, “So, what’ll you have?,” and the guy answers “One for me, and one more for the road.” Badda-bim………..
    Where is a cow’s nose? Past-her-eyes. (I made that one up, so it has to be a groaner.)
    The Rabbi and the Rats. Three synagogues were infested with rats. The three rabbis confer. The first rabbi says, “I got an exterminator. He did his job, but all the rats came back. What did you two do? The second rabbi says, I put very nice blintzes in a bunch of cages, but none of the rats would touch it!” To the third rabbi, he said, “So what did you do?” The third rabbi said, I win! I got rid of all the rats. How? Simple! I bar-mitzvah’d the boy rats, and bat-mitzvah’d the girl rats. They never came back…….
    A guy visits a farm and sees a pig with one leg and three peglegs. He asks the farmer “What happened to your pig?” The farmer answers. “He’s an amazing pig! One time, I was mowing hay on the north-40, my tractor tipped over and pinned me. That pig is so smart, he ran back to the house, made a bunch of noise, and got the farmhands to follow him. He helped them save me.” “Yes, but what about the one leg and the three peglegs?” The farmer answers. “He’s an amazing pig!” When the barn caught fire, he oinked so loud, and so long, that everybody woke up, got buckets of water and saved the barn.” “OK, but what about the peglegs?” The farmer answers. “He’s such an amazing pig!!” “When a snake spooked the cows, my pig here ran over and stomped that snake ‘til it couldn’t spook any more.” “OK, but please, please tell me about the peglegs!!!” “Well,” said the farmer, “a pig that good you don’t eat all at once.”
    An old lady was sitting on a bench on Miami Beach, when an old man comes walking down the path. He sits at the other end of the bench and says nothing. The old lady, wanting to break the silence, says “Nice day!” The guy says, “You have no idea how nice. I just got out of prison.” She pauses a bit, and then says “How long were you in prison?” “Oh, thirty years!” She pauses a little longer, apprehensively, and says, “And what were you in for?” “Actually, I murdered my wife.” She pauses quite a while, thinking that one over. Then she says, “So, you’re single?”
    Hope you enjoy these.


  26. Barry Friedman
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 23:33:21

    Another Miami Beach joke to add to Milton’s:
    An older Jewish man is crossing the street in Miami Beach and gets hit and knocked down by a bus. A fellow who sees this happen runs up to him, puts his jacket under the older man’s head and asks “Are you comfortable?” The old Jewish man answers “I make a living!”


  27. Claudia Booker
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 02:57:24

    Dear Kirby,

    If laughter is a true healer, pleae spend some time on my pesonal Face Book page. Yesteday I want on the Virtual Occupy Wall Street and gave a recap of my adventures in Virtual Wall Street all day. My theme music was slammin’. .

    Also, my day time is fairly flexible – will get in touch with your parents about visiting.

    When you can be my FB friend and get some laughs and wierd info about birth and breastfeeding..

    Claudia Booker, Azulai’s mom


  28. Milton, Judy, Katie and Samantha
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 16:02:25

    Yeah Kirby!! There’s no place like home. I am keeping you in my prayers as I go to the Synagague tonight. We wish you and your family peace and continued strength.


  29. Massey/Matthews Family
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 18:15:05

    Kirby (plus Judith, Robert & Owen) – We are so stunned to learn of your illness, but we know that your indomitable spirit and grace will get you through this!! (And that applies to ALL of you!) Looking forward to visiting you and to helping out with the crane project. Much love, hugs and get well wishes from Kim, Dave, Alex & Robbie


  30. Susan Tanfield
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 19:37:29

    Hi, Kirby, I wanted you to know that I think of you and your family often and wish so much for you! Keep up your good fight. The fat lady isn’t allowed to sing for many years.
    Susan Tanfield (a friend & former Burke neighbor of your Aunt Jean)


  31. Steve Lawlor, Susan Ades+family
    Oct 08, 2011 @ 12:32:45

    Hi Kirby and Family, I know many people go to great lengths to avoid the long temple services during high holidays but this is extreme! We learned of your battle just recently and wanted to send along our most profound hopes for your strength, determination and sparkling will to overcome this. Your support bench is very deep as this blog will attest and your family and friends have circled the wagons tightly around you. You are in very good hands. Stay strong and positive and know the crowd is cheering you on!
    Warmly, Steve, Susan, Olivia and Isabelle Ades-Lawlor


  32. Jackie McCuin
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 22:51:08

    Hi Kirb,
    So glad to hear you are getting out and about! I am not much of a joke teller but have a good book of jokes from Garrison Keillor so here are a few…1. A skeleton walks in to a bar and asks for a beer and a mop. (that’s it) Ha! 2. Then a horse walks into the place and the bartender says, “Why the long face?” Ha! Ha! 3. And the hot dog comes in and the bartender says we don’t serve food here. ha ha ha. Hope they made you giggle. 🙂 Starting some cranes for you. Will send soon.
    Love, Jackie


  33. Letty Shapiro
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 03:58:22

    Hi Kirby, Judith, Robert and Owen, I’ve been reading your blog and enjoying the bad jokes. Hope you are too. Jim and I think of you often and keep you in our thoughts and prayers (that’s just a joke, but you are in my thoughts). Glad to hear you’re getting out and around the ‘hood. Perhaps you’ll walk down our direction? If not, we’ll try to come by soon and say hello. Keep up the good fight. We’re here to cheer you on, should you need it; or just to listen and hold your hand. OXOXO, Letty Shapiro, Jim Schulman, & Hannah Schulman


  34. Barry Friedman
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 14:55:17

    Kirby, you may know of Rick Recht. He lives in St. Louis and is a nationally known Jewish folk/rock singer. We had him as a guest to our shul in Evansville several times. He wrote this song “El Na R’fa Na La”– a beautiful song of healing. Hope you like it.
    [audio src="" /]


  35. Kristin Bolton-Keys
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 00:35:32

    Hi Kirby – it’s your roomie. I miss the “homecooked” meals together and (your baked goods!) sharing our crazy work stories. I pray you are well and wish you a peace and comfort during this time.

    P.S. I have not killed the plants yet 🙂
    P.S.S. I will send you blog questions so I can post about Kirbead. In the meantime, enjoy!

    – Kristin


  36. Toby Manewith
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 14:19:26


    Though I’m no longer at Temple Micah, I heard your story from a congregant.
    I just wanted to stop at this page and offer you and your family my wishes for continued strength.
    And now, my favorite (clean) joke:
    Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says, “Does this taste funny to you?”


  37. Ilona Klein
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 12:59:49

    So good to hear the excellent news of progress today. I am a great believer in parents as advocates for their children … if not us, who? (A little Hillel paraphrase.) The multi-disciplinary approach makes so much sense … glad that the new team at GW appreciates Judith’s efforts. Can’t wait to see you all … I will add some hug therapy!

    Love, Cousin Ilona


  38. Cara Levy
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 13:54:20

    Hi Kirby,

    I can’t wait to see you this weekend! Let me know what you want me to bring from NYC. I can bring food from some of your fav restaurants (Awash?), stuff from your apartment, mail, etc. This offer is valid for your parents also.

    See you soon,

    P.S. Did you hear about the Origami Business? It folded…


  39. jamesporo
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 14:07:58

    Hey Kirby! I hope you are doing well and staying out of trouble in the hood! Erin informed me of what has happened and I can’t believe it 😦 but if anyone has the perseverance (how do you spell that?) and positive attitude to move forward and beyond this it is you! I was sitting here trying to think of joke to make you laugh, but apparently I have the attention span of a five year old and got distracted by some food I smelled down the hall…anyway, I did find this youtube vidoe which I find quite hillarious!

    with love,


  40. Tom Bernard
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 17:31:53

    We didn’t know each other well, but you left an impression on me of being one of the nicest people I know. You were always smiling and it was always a pleasure to see you around the office. You had way of always raising the spirits of everyone around you. I hope you are keeping your strong, happy spirit alive.
    My prayers are with you.


  41. Susan Punnett
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 17:50:45

    One for your joke book:

    Two bees are buzzing around what’s left of a rose bush.

    “How’s your summer been?” asks the first one.

    “Not too good,” says the second bee. “Lotta rain, lotta cold. There aren’t
    enough flowers, therefore not enough pollen.”

    The first bee has an idea. “Hey, why don’t you go down to the corner and
    hang a left? There’s a bar mitzvah going on. Plenty of flowers and

    Bee two buzzes, “Thanks!” and takes off. An hour later, the bees bump into
    each other again.

    “How was the bar mitzvah?” asks the first bee.

    “Great!” replies the second.

    The first bee, however, notices a small circle on his friend’s head, and
    inquires, “What’s that on your head?”

    “A yarmulke,” is the answer. “I didn’t want them to think I was a Wasp.”


  42. Chris Waldroup
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 14:40:44

    Hi Kirby!

    We just wanted to take a moment to let you know that we’re thinking of you often. Ari’s been under the weather for what seems like ages. I guess working in healthcare finally caught up to her =p. As soon as she’s got a clean bill of health we’ll be scheduling some time to hang out – maybe you two would like to bead together? She says she can bring her supplies.

    Can’t wait to see you!

    Chris & Ari


  43. Kit Wheatley
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 02:03:04

    Hi Kirby — I just got back from a mini-vacation with my college buds. One of them told this joke, which cracked her 13-year-old up: A neutrino walks into a bar, orders a gin and tonic, and asks the bartender how much it owes. The bartender says: “For you — no charge.”

    I just tried it out on Tom, and he said it was “positively hilarious.” (As you would have expected, I’m sure.) Anyway, I’m back and I hope I’ll have a chance to visit again soon. Thinking of you —


  44. abby lavin
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 01:03:11


    sending you lots of love from shanghai. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. HUGS!


  45. Gloria Mink Edwards
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 02:02:11

    How heartwarming it is to read that you are home and walking around the hood. I just saw this joke and hope that it will give you a giggle: “”While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage. Attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign: “Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.””

    Hugs and kisses, Cousin Gloria


  46. Abby B
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 22:33:36

    Thinking about you today! Hoping the second round is going ok.
    Lots of love, you are in my prayers.


  47. Devin Burke
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 20:29:24

    Hi Kirby,
    I found myself driving along part of our old bus route to Burgundy the other day and thought of you and our many hours stuck in rush hour traffic 🙂 Didn’t really phase us when we were kids! I want to come and visit you but there is a bug going around my office and the last thing I want to do it pass it along. I think of you often, and my mom and I both send positive thoughts to you and your family from the “other” A Street. We’re glad you’re home and enjoying fall on The Hill!
    In Smithie Burgundian-ness always,
    Devin (and Pat) Burke


  48. Brendan
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 16:27:30

    Here’s a joke for the times, featuring a pun and a hot dog stand (but not rivaling your dad’s Best-Joke-Ever-according-to-Joel which has the same premise):

    A guy goes to buy a hot dog from an outdoor stand. Sign says: “Half&Half dogs – one end beef, one end soybeans.” The guy says to the vendor, “I’ve never seen a hot dog like that, with one end that’s vegetarian.” The vendor says, “Well, times are tough. And when times are tough, it’s hard to make both ends meat.”


  49. Diane Sullivan
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 10:51:02


    Made some cranes for you – unfortunately mine look like pteradactyls – in looking them over, I found one that was perfect! (that’s the one Cara made as a sample!) Oh, well…..

    Know that in each crane’s fold is a hug for you (and quite possibly a little scratch-off dust…..hey, you never know!)

    Stay stong, fight the fight, and know that you are always in my heart and in my prayers!



  50. Jan Greenberg
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 18:02:55

    I missed seeing you at Temple Micah on Sunday, but so glad to hear you were there attending a “green” meeting! Hoping that each day brings you a little more strength, a little more healing, a little more comfort, and a whole lot of love, joy, and laughter …

    love, Jan


  51. Christina Trainer
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 01:18:26

    Mark & I think about you everyday…so much to catch up on! I am doing a conversion…thought you’d be happy to hear. Lets catch up soon…Miss You LOTS!!!

    Big Hugs…
    Christina 🙂


  52. Diane and John Shages
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 20:53:59

    Hi Kirby: So happy to catch up on the news today. You may not feel like having company after your chemo tomorrow, but if you feel up to it later this week Thursday or Friday or sometime the following week, I would like to learn how to make cranes. No rush at my end, but if you are giving lessons to other or feel up to a lesson for just one person, I would like to do that. Just call my cell (even on the spur of the moment). In the meantime, sending loads of good wishes and a ton of prayers. Fondly, Diane Shages 202-302-0281


  53. Susan Tanfield
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 22:13:13

    Hi, Kirby. Wishing for progress everyday.


  54. Giang Tran
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 23:25:34

    Hi Kirby. Hope you’re feeling better today.

    Miss you. ~Giang


  55. Sharon Ferguson-Bailes
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 04:04:40

    Dear Kirby,
    I recently got your blog address from Brendan. I’ve been reading through it
    and it’s so wonderful! The support your receiving from so many,
    many people who love and admire you is such a testament to who you
    are as a person. I’m sending good thoughts your way along with lots of
    love and the hope for a rapid recovery. You are truly fortunate to have such a
    strong and caring family at your side. My very best to all the Capen-Weinsteins…
    my thoughts are with you all….


  56. Nancy Friedman
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 18:22:01

    Kirby–you, Robert, Judith, and Owen are much in my thoughts. Sending hope, hugs, and healing thoughts your way. If I could knit you back to health, my needles would be clicking just for you. Much love.


  57. Lili
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 12:26:04

    Lady Lady! So in the process of folding cranes I decided an homage to our ridiculously long trailer/wine/gummibear evening was in order. Hope you enjoy this silly little bit 🙂



  58. Jean Rhian, Jerry Fairbanks
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 03:12:34

    Why does Santa Claus smile?
    He knows where all the naughty girls live!

    Thinking of all of you, sending love, big hugs, and positive thoughts your way,
    Jean and Jerry


  59. Nancy J Feldman
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 15:55:34

    Food for thought

    > 1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little
    > bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

    > 2. Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing
    > section in a swimming pool? (My sentiments exactly)

    > 3. OK…. so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the “Jags” and the
    > Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the “Bucs,” what does that make the
    > Tennessee Titans?

    > 4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea…does that mean that one
    > enjoys it?

    > 5. There are three religious truths:
    > a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    > b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian
    > faith.
    > c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.

    > 6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from
    > Holland called Holes?

    > 7. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

    8. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

    > 9. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale
    > bread to begin with?

    > 10. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who
    > drives a racecar is not called a racist?

    > 11. Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety one?

    12 If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow
    > that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged,
    > models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

    > 13. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

    > 14. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

    > 15. What hair color do they put on the driver’s license of bald men?

    > 16. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot
    > more as they get older; then it dawned on me …..they’re cramming for
    > their final exam.
    > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    > 17. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons
    > and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? toothpicks?
    > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    > 18. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What
    > are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don’t they just put their
    > pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they
    > deliver the mail?
    > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    > 19 If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are
    > the others here for?
    > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    > 20. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
    > *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    > 21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

    > 22. If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

    > 23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?


  60. Nancy J Feldman
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 15:56:35

    If you are interested in nature watch this!!


  61. morgan
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 22:25:17


  62. Judy Daniel
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 20:28:41

    Hi, Kirby,
    So glad to finally know how to contact you. What a great site!! Will come by tonight. Have been thinking of you and your family constantly, and so now you know that, too!

    Lots of love!

    Judy Daniel


  63. colleenteresa
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 12:43:39

    Dear Kirby,
    Sending lots of love and prayers and missing you — and your parents — lots! I want to get over to see you soon and expand my Kirbead collection. So this rabbi, priest and minister walk into a bar and the bartender says, “What’s this, some kind of joke?”


  64. Cindy Capen
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 02:54:36

    Dear Kirby,
    I think you might have been in high school when last we met…and I seem to recall that you were folding cranes for someone in need! I am really sorry to hear that you are becoming a specialist in the health care field…a journey clearly not of your choosing! I’ve been praying since I learned about this ick trip of yours and will keep right on until I hear that you’ve got enough cranes for wishes granted. I am glad that you have grown so many friends in your years as it does seem that you are well loved and much visited! As a member of the health care side of things…I am a firm believer that it is love that gets you through (and laughter, of course). Judging by the crane count, you are getting steady infusions of love!
    Cousin (second?) Cindy


  65. Louise Brennan
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 12:58:29

    Bruce and I are definitely sending our “thoughts and prayers” to Kirby today, hoping that 1C will do just what we all are hoping for. (We think about you all every time we pass your house, so I hope those thoughts are somehow winging their way inside!)

    Louise and Bruce


  66. Judy Daniel
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 13:45:38

    Positive energy, dances, songs, love, and whatever it takes for the 1C to work! Hoping that this New Year brings an end to pain and a return to health.

    All love,


  67. Cindy Capen
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 01:55:48

    You have a small army of prayer “warriors” here in Gainesville. Praying no pain; praying no nausea; praying no cancer!


  68. Cindy Capen
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 01:57:30

    oh…and folding cranes. Should have my first(slightly crooked…how DO you get the tails neat?) 25 off to you soon.


  69. Kit
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 08:32:40

    Kirby — Anna and I are in Jerusalem, incredibly, and thinking of you constantly. We have left one note for you at the Wall already and are leaving another today. We bought you some beads at a wonderful shop in the market yesterday — lovely stone, and three beautiful old silver beads (“very rare,” said the shopkeeper, whose family has owned the shop for 350 years). I will bring them over when I get back to DC. Love to you and your family —


  70. Lili
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 08:44:25

    Thinkin of you Kirby. I send you hugs and love!


  71. Alden O'Brien
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 01:44:46

    I haven’t posted before but am following your progress on the blog and through mutual friends-/with lots o’s prayers for wise doctors, good treatments, pain relief, and strength for your fabulous family to help them help you. Celia and Lydia join me intheir concern and in sending love and good wishes!


  72. Rebecca
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 15:02:30

    Kirby, Judith, Robert, and Owen;
    My thoughts are with you.


  73. Jean Rhian, Jerry Fairbanks
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 16:54:50

    I’m so glad Kirby is home with you. No one could be surrounded by more love. I’m glad her body as well as her heart and soul will be given tender peace and care. We send love and care to all of you. This is such an incredibly difficult journey.


  74. Cindy Capen
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 18:49:13

    I, too, am glad Kirby is home and gifted with the love of family and friends. When the medical establishment has nothing more to offer except enough meds to achieve the most physical comfort possible, then home adds comfort for the heart. I know there are no words but I am part of the great energy surrounding you.


  75. Linda
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 20:25:04

    Dear Kirby,

    You are in my prayers and my family’s. You are one of the strongest women I know and I know in my heart you will move past this. Do not give up my dear friend. Your Smithies love you and are waiting for your recovery.

    Abrazos y besos Kirby,



  76. Linda
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 20:49:40

    Dear Kirby,

    Do you remember when Anna was going through cancer? Do you remember how we knew she was going to make it through? Miracles do exist dear. Anna is living proof of it. I am praying for a miracle for you. I trust that you will recover and we will celebrate your health through a reunion with all of our friends from Smith.




  77. Lili
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 21:28:58



  78. Tanti
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:21:18

    Hello Kirby, I still remember our adventures with Ellie during our first year at Smith. We had a lot of fun and I still have that pearl/ruby necklace you made. Sending you lots of hugs, my friend.


  79. Sue Froehlich
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 22:36:39

    Dear Kirby,
    Do you remember breaking me in, as a rookie lab supervisor at Smith, when I didn’t know diddly about the place, or my new job? All the other Design Clinic teams in hiding elsewhere, but no, not yours. Frying a few circuits, surprise acid spill (my first haz response…wow), but hey, your team cranked out real presentable data in the nick of time. (Plus gifting me 10# of Ford power points…) You, Alyson & Kaitlin were a phenomenal introduction to Smith for me, one I will always hold dear. Seriously.

    Be strong, be at peace, be with your family. My thoughts and prayers are for you.



  80. Donna Riley
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 23:32:04

    I just got word of this news via the Smith engineering network. I add my own thoughts and prayers to this outpouring of love and support. It comes as no surprise that Kirby — such a committed, thoughtful, kind, and caring student, who I continue to think about and invoke to other students years after her graduation — would come from and be surrounded by such committed and caring folks. I wish all of you, Judith, Robert, Owen, and Kirby, continued strength, hope, and grace to face the challenges ahead, and much peace amid this struggle.


  81. Diana
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 01:15:19

    Kirby, Last time we saw eachother, I remember thinking about how lovely it was to see you and how inspired I was to speak to you about your work. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Diana


  82. Susan Tanfield
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 01:17:56

    May the whole family have peaceful days in 2012. I think of you daily. All best wishes and cranes, Susan


  83. Linda E. Jones
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 02:11:42

    Hello Kirby,

    When I see your face in my minds eye …I see one of the happiest people I have ever met. You have always made me smile from the moment I met you which was probably in the very tight space near Michele’s desk in the Little House at Smith. I am proud of you as a student and consider you a friend and feel very blessed to know you and have you in my life. I am keeping you in my prayers. You are truly loved.


    Professor Jones at Smith…….


  84. Ray Sinclair
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 02:37:13

    Rest, comfort, and peace for everyone at 810 A. We love you all.


  85. Stacie Hagenbaugh
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 03:08:47

    My name is Stacie Hagenbaugh and I work at Smith. I worked with Kirby during her wonderfully successful Projects for Peace initiative in Ghana, which became a model for future Smith grants submitted through the foundation. We are in the throes of reviewing these grants now and her proposal remains a mainstay for those applying for funding. Kirby’s amazingly vibrant, joyful, and intelligent approach to her work was evident; she was passionate and thoughtful, and her amazing endeavors left an indelible mark on those around her. Kirby, you came to see me two years ago and it meant the world to know you were doing so well, and you were sharing your gifts with all who knew you. I truly wish you and your family the most gentle peace. You are an extraordinary gift to the world. Much love to you. Thank you for all you have given and for the wonderful role model you are for those who dare to follow in your glorious foot steps!!!!


  86. Hilary Sims
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 03:09:36


    Hi and a huge cyber-hug! I feel like you would have laughed: I had to do a fire drill at work the other day, which is of course disruptive and also stunningly dull most of the time. I work in a forest of cubicles, and when our office’s “ding-dong” noise came over the loudspeaker (more civilized than the Morrow House fire alarm, but still annoying), the office workers poured out of their cubes to form a mass in the hallway, where we listened to this crew of bored-looking fire marshals describe, very slowly, how to use our staircases in an emergency. (Spoiler alert: you walk down them, almost as if they were normal stairs.) They were asking a string of rhetorical questions (but dead-serious, in thick New York accents) like “does anyone here knooowwww–why we don’t use the elevatah?”, “has everyone here uuuuused–the stairs?” In the midst of these questions that of course no one was answering, one guy standing about 3 feet from me farted SO loudly and obviously. I was so glad (and a little grossed out) that he was there, and had to bite the insides of my cheeks to keep from cracking up.

    Sending you all my love and thinking about you and your incredible infectious joy,


  87. Ify
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 03:17:45

    Hey Kirby,

    I remember when we both sat together after class and you taught me how to make cranes. I enjoyed that time we sat together and had the random bonding moment. We talked about Smith, how Anna was doing and I enjoyed that time with you. I remember everything about you ya know, very down to earth soul with a contagious hearty laugh. I imagine with my human mind that God has all our best interests at heart even when we don’t understand his ways.

    I love you.

    – Ify


  88. Judy Daniel
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 06:02:40

    Dearest Kirby, Judith, Robert and Owen,
    Sending love to all of you, singing songs to each of you of love and peace.


  89. Marilynn
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 13:31:16

    My friend Kirby, there are no words to say how I hate what has happened to you, you are such a nice person and a very diligent worker, and did nothing to deserve this hand you were dealt… I will always cherish the Mets Magnet that you gave me, out of the kindness of your heart… I will remember always the karaoke night we had with Mark & Dan so fun,, be strong and remember you are loved… Marilynn & Bill


  90. Josephine
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 14:33:24

    Hi Kirby – I gotta tell ya that I am not very receptive to the words coming off these pages about your condition. I’m getting really upset and it’s pissing me off! When I think of you the first thing that comes to mind is your laugh and that wonderful personality of yours – your such a sweetheart. I love the way you can get your point across in such a polite way and anything and everything you set your mind to – you can accomplish. So here is what I’m thinking – I’m going to continue to pray with all our friends and DEMAND you get better FAST and you continue to think HAPPY thoughts and we will work together to get this accomplished. And for those of you who don’t know me – I’m straight outta NY so I expect everyone to start praying and I expect all of you to continue sending Kirby HAPPY THOUGHTS! Believe in the power of prayer!!


  91. Ashleigh
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 18:04:17

    Praying for your Kirby! Be Brave. Be Strong. Be Beautiful.


  92. Elizabeth Cummings
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 22:55:51

    Hey Kirby,
    I have been impressed by your humor, intelligence, good will and kindness since I first met you in 2004. I’m sure a number of us ’08’s remember your friendly face when we first moved into Morrow (and you probably remember the fear in our eyes. Well, except for Mary, for she was busy discovering the wonders of body paint ;)). Your hard work and enduring spirit are testament to why Smithies are so great. Sending you and your family lots of love and prayers.


  93. Leonora Baddoo
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 22:57:42

    Really saddened to hear about this. I think of you, Kirby, and I see you full of life, extremely cheerful, with a bounce in your step. Praying peace and comfort for you and your family, and sending you warm greetings from Ghana where I now live, and which I know you enjoyed also. Leo…


  94. Yael
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 23:28:26

    I’ve been watching the “blog stats” number climb higher and higher all day, such a testament to how many people love you. Thinking about the four of you constantly and sending you all my love. See you this weekend. ❤


  95. Lindsey Meyer
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 23:31:14


    I heard that you are now home and you deserve to be in comfortable surroundings with everyone who loves you. I am thinking of and praying for you constantly. I know whenever your body decides that it may be time to pass that your spirit will live on. I hope that your loved ones keep up this blog in your after life to share the funny dreams and moments they experience when you continue to visit them. All the best to you and your family.


    Lindsey Meyer


  96. Yael
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 23:36:37

    PS I found an e-mail from you this morning from after one of my&Ro’s NYC visits saying that you knew someone else (not us!) had been in your apartment because there was a missing beer bottle and it couldn’t have been us who drank it because 1) it was not recycled and 2) do we even drink beer?! Luckily my coworker had just stepped out of the office because I could not stop laughing. You were totally right on both counts there.


  97. David Smith
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 02:06:27


    I want to give credit where credit is due
    And let you know that I now drink the Kool Aid because of you.
    I save the planet just as you’ve taught me how,
    And I push for change to happen now.

    The time I’ve spent with you, I’ll never forget,
    And I will always be in your debt.
    You’ve shown me why we need to be concerned.
    As our continued future on this earth needs to be earned.

    The thought of you sick is an idea I can’t bear.
    Sometimes I think, life just isn’t fair.
    There’s a lot in this world that we just can’t control.
    But your perseverance and strength has had me sold.

    You once described me as a friend to the end.
    But the truth is, our friendship will extend
    Beyond any time man — or woman — can conceive of.
    You’ve touched my soul in ways you can’t dream of.

    I raise my glass, all frothy and green
    And say “here’s to Kirby the heart of the team.”


  98. Deirdre Saunder
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 13:35:57

    I don’t know whether you remember us from Capitol Hill and Temple Micah but we remember you vividly – such a fun kid with an energy and compassion that few could match! We just heard about your struggle and want you to know that you and your amazing family are in our thoughts and prayers. All our love and hugs,
    Deirdre, Sheldon, Dani and Madi Himelfarb


  99. Marc Zuluaga
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 15:34:04

    Kirby –

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.



  100. Becca
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 15:51:18

    Why does the ‘Rosie’ icon keep showing up when I enter something here? Maybe its because of the strength you’ve always given me!

    My quirky thing is…I love to watch the scheduler excel sheet squares fill up, it is a testament of all the love people have for you.

    Lots of love always!



  101. Judy Cardell
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 16:56:10

    Dear Kirby and Kirby’s family,

    I remember having you, Kirby, in class, and being around the green box at Smith – always with a great attitude and some laughter. I’ll be thinking of all of you,

    Judy Cardell


  102. Marie Starnes
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 16:59:01

    Kirby: You and your family are in my prayers. – Marie


  103. Andrew Olmsted
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 20:24:09

    Hi Kirby,

    I want you to know I am thinking of you fondly. When you came to SWW, your presence and your work for our class made me feel more closely connected to my school and school experiences. I am a teacher now, and our time at Walls will always be the foundation of my active involvement in the lives of kids.

    I wish you lots of love this season.
    -Andrew Olmsted


  104. Ruth Capen Batten
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 22:13:40

    It’s wonderful to see how many family and friends you have surrounding you with lots of love. Mine are there with the others.


  105. Asmaa Maloul
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 02:56:30

    Hi Kirby,
    I really don’t know where to start but I want you to know you are in my prayers and thoughts all the time. I wish I could come and see always brought a smile to my face …do you I remember our meal at the ethiopian restaurant in NYC and how much we laughed that night.. It was great to get together that day and hear all your news….

    I love you Kirby


  106. mina
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 04:39:56

    Hi Kirby,
    Although I have only known you for a short time,I realized right away you are a smart, hardworking, energetic and super friendly young lady. The energy efficiency field needs more women like you. Your smile is imprinted in my memory. I am thankful for having the opportunity to know you. Hugs and kisses.


  107. Devin Burke
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 05:07:13

    This is going to sound incredibly strange, but your dad and your cat just caught me sitting in my car in front of your house (I’m so sorry for being creepy, Mr. Weinstein, I certainly didn’t mean to alarm anyone). I was driving home and found myself thinking of you, as I have been often this week, and I wanted to be closer but not intrude, especially given the hour. I hope to see you this weekend, as long as the line to get to you isn’t too long already 😉 So many people love you and are sending you and your family love and strength. You defined strong for me when we were little kids on the playground, and you always will.
    Love from A St. NE,


  108. Elyse Steiner
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 15:47:40


    You are the one person I’ve met that made me feel stronger just being around you. I remember hanging out with you during class and and trying to get through problem sets after hours in the engineering building. I remember laughing with you and learning new cool tidbits about you every time we were together. I know you are surrounded by so much love and I just want to add mine in. I’m thankful that you are my friend.



  109. Susan Mostov
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 20:09:13

    I send everyone my LOVE. I believe in miracles and prayer. Cousin Susan


  110. Cindy Capen
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 00:49:14

    I wonder if I have ever met anyone else who in 28 years could sow such numbers and depth of relationships to win 23000 visits to a website to check in and care. You clearly have made good use of your time and I will keep right on praying that you get to keep up the amazing work. An awe inspiring number of people clearly are sending out the love and prayer. Keep growing the love, ok?


  111. Ken
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 03:16:26

    Hey Kirby! Sending you lots n lots of good wishes and love. May you be blessed with good health, happiness and joy that never ends…You know the most powerful thing in this world is faith…Believe in all Almighty and be strong…Our prayers are always with you… 🙂


  112. Claire Marie James
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 12:55:22

    I keep thinking of buffy the vampire slayer and savage garden and all of the wonderful things you introduced my sister and I too when we were two obnoxious kids bothering you for a story. I am so happy that you were only 8 inches away and I am sending you all my love.


  113. Elyse Gilbert
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 20:02:23

    Thinking about you Kirby and sending you love, strength and comfort with your friends and family.


  114. Ruhi Rubenstein
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 03:42:43

    I haven’t written here before, Kirby, but ever since Yale told me in September, I’ve been praying for you daily and sending love from Jerusalem. I hope healing comes to you soon, in this and all worlds. I know your strength and vision continues to inspire ME.
    Much love,


  115. Lauren Brust
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 22:17:09

    From the moment we all met you, we knew how smart and amazing you are. We were lucky to have work with us, even for a short time. My thoughts are with you and your family.


  116. Allie Kurtz
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 04:06:29

    Hi Kirby,
    This is Allie Kurtz from Smith. I knew you from when I worked at the Kosher K, and from ASL tables. I’ve missed your joy and your vivacity in the last few years that we’ve been out of touch. Here are a couple of my favorite jokes:

    Q: What did the zero say to the eight?
    A: Nice belt!

    Q: What did the bra say to the hat?
    A: You go on ahead…I’ll give these two a lift.

    My thoughts are with you,


  117. Wendy Lin
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 06:00:18

    Hi Kirbyyy!

    Giang told me about you and I’m thankful that she did. I wish I could come and visit you in DC! It has been about 5.5 years since we last saw each other, hasn’t it? Our student exchange days in Edinburgh were awesome and unique. I miss you, girl, and…your home-made Mexican food! =))

    Sending you a lot of warmth from sunny Mauritius/Singapore,
    Wendy <


  118. Leah
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 00:56:45

    Last I saw you was a few years ago when I came to visit Becca. I still remember our talks at Smith, your tour of Eastern Market, and letting Becca and I stay in NYC while you were overseas with Erin. You have so much passion and you brought it to Africa and to those less fortunate, yet you taught them self worth. Love you dearly. Even though we never lived in the same town, I always considered you a friend and I keep you close to my heart.


  119. Cindy capen
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 01:32:25

    Regarding today’s post? Cranes might be limited in the weight they can carry…i just do not know about crane abilities….although i keep folding because wishes are a good thing and it keeps Kirby actively in my thoughts. i do, however believe there is nothing too big for God to do, so i am still praying Kirby will be free of cancer….and being grateful she is surrounded and so well loved!


  120. Josephine
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 12:29:55

    Hi Kirby — YOU GO GIRL!! Keep up the great work – keep getting stronger – stay focused as it seems our prayers are moving in the right direction. I have faith in you. They say that when you pray and maintain happy and positive thoughts that you know the prayers are working because you will feel your heart expand with joy.
    Praying with a smile and folding cranes with a happy song in our hearts will keep us all focused and moving in the right direction with one goal in mind – YOU!
    The sun is shining for you!


  121. kirbysc
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 21:05:37

    You probably do not remember me from your time at Burgundy but I was your librarian. The library was in the Loft then, now the music room is in that space. The library is in East Barn, and probably one of your classes was in here at that time. How many cranes have been made here at Burgundy by students of Erin Kelly through the years?!? I know the school sent you cranes, but I wanted to send you a message saying you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    ~Ann Van Deusen, Librarian, Burgundy Farm Country Day School.


  122. Susannah Howe
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 01:32:53

    Dear Kirby,

    You are an inspiration! Your big heart, so full of love, always caring for others. I still remember having you teach everyone in Design Clinic how to make paper cranes to send to Anna. Your smile and positive attitude bring joy to everyone. You are in my thoughts and those of the extended Design Clinic community. Be strong!



  123. Ruth Capen Batten
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 19:53:00

    Wow! I am amazed by all of your friends, family and energy coming your way. I continue to pray for you. After reading all of these messages, I feel that I know you when we have not yet met. Stay strong.
    Cousin (second) Ruth Ann


  124. Angela C Gier
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 22:39:38

    HI Kirby! I am the aunt of your Smith Buddy, Lili Mundle. Lili called me back in Sept and said “aunt Angela” please pray for my friend. So we are!!! and . . . so are all the folks in my church and friends from my past churches (and temples too : -) We are blessed to be able to read your blog. You and your family are blessed with God’s peace that transcends all understanding and you are blessing others with it. You are ALL in our prayers everyday and though out the day. May God’s blessings and healing hands gently and lovingly rest upon you and yours. xoxox


  125. Jean Rhian, Jerry Fairbanks
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 23:40:14

    Fearful Friend

    Into the house of doom and love.
    It’s so terrifying,
    What do I say, what can I do? It’s so awful, what if I make it worse?
    But wait, is that possible? What could be worse? The wrong word, the wrong look. What difference would it make?
    I want to be comforting, or at least brief distraction, but what if I totally screw up?
    What would that be? What would that look like? Tears, sobs, giddy laughter? Fearful words? Relief when I’m gone?
    Is food the right thing, what about flowers? What about anything? This is all so scary.
    Should I even show up? Do they want others to see? Or to see others?
    The house of doom and love. It could be anyone’s house.
    But right now, it’s yours and I’m your fearful friend.
    Can I bring you love? How?


  126. Nathalie Flores
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 00:23:26

    Hi Kirby! It was nice to see you and the rest of the Smith crew (Netty, June, Meghan, Nadeera, Anna). Meghan taught me how to make cranes! It was my first time ever and very possibly my new hobby. Meghan is great teacher! As I mentioned today, coming to Smith as a transferred was not the easiest thing, but your kindness and friendship made it easier for me to survive Smith and meet great friends. Warm hugs to you! I will keep you in my prayers.


  127. Diane and John Shages
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 00:36:58

    Kirby, Robert, Judith and Owen: John and I have been out of town this past month, and I arrived back on Thursday. Just before leaving in Dec, I would see Kirby on 7th Street arm in arm with a young man, which I took to be a really good sign. However, it is with much sorrow that I today updated myself on your pilgrimage. If prayers, love and cranes can make a miracle–there will be one! I am so glad that you all have been surrounded with so much of all of these–and from Independence Av and Delray Beach FL (where John remains), we send everything positive we can think of!!! Diane Shages


  128. Debra Knopman
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 03:30:31

    Hi Kirby,

    As a fellow engineer (from another Seven Sisters school no less), I thought you might appreciate a different kind of crane picture: In Dubai a few years ago, I was told that this kind of crane was the national bird.

    I have a great memory of our long conversation a while back about job opportunities for young “liberal arts” engineers. You showed such amazing creativity and optimism as you sifted through your options, and I was so pleased when I heard that you had landed a great job.

    I wanted you to know that our thoughts are with you and your family. You have given so much to the Hill and Micah communities.

    With love,
    Debra Knopman and Leah and David Weightman


  129. William Soller
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 03:53:32

    Kirby, You are in my thoughts and prayers now of all times. We had so much fun together when I was a kid, making jewelry. Love you in best spirits, William


  130. Leon Mostert
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 11:34:24

    Hi Kirby, Robert, Judith and Owen,
    We are thinking so much about you. There is not much we can say or do that has not been said or done by now. But please know that our family are thinking of you and praying for you. We want to give you this different translation of Psalm 91:4 which reads like this: “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge!”
    Leon, Esta, Hester and Susan


  131. Marlo Brown
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 18:30:14

    Not too long ago I received a correspondance from Katie Sheffield telling me about you and how much she was hurting because of your condition. Even though you were more her friend than mine, I do remember you well, especially your laugh and smile while at Smith. I am so thankful for all the strong, talented, and kind women I met at there and of course you are among them. It grieves my heart to hear that anyone has cancer, because it is one of the toughest events in life to fight. I am thankful you have such a caring family to be with at this time and may they buoy you through the rest of your treatments as you buoyed them throughout their lives. With love Kirby, Marlo Brown, Seattle, WA.


  132. Sheri Blotner
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 20:43:23

    Dear Judith, Robert & Owen,
    Our hearts are breaking with loss, the pain, & the sorrow you are all going through. Please know you are, and have been, in our thoughts since the beginning. Take comfort in knowing that sweet Kirby fought as long and as hard as she did because of all you and the strength you gave her.
    Much Love,
    Sheri & David


  133. Stephanie Kaufman
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 23:10:24

    Sitting in silence, stunned, saddened by your huge loss. No words can suffice to ease your pain. Only time will. My sincerest sympathies.



  134. Leon Mostert
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 23:31:47

    Robert, Judith and Owen,
    We are s sad to hear about your loss. We can only pray that God will comfort you in this difficult and sad time. Please accept our family’s deepest sympathy.
    Leon, Esta, Hester and Susan


  135. David Diskin
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 01:59:55

    Robert, Judith and Owen,

    Rachel (who has been keeping tabs from NYC), Barbara and I are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

    David, Barbara and Rachel


  136. Crystal Taylor (SWW Class of 2003)
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 02:07:13

    Hi Kirby,

    I am so glad to have met you during my time at School Without Walls. You were always humble and such a wonderful person. We only had one class together, but every time I saw you, I was always made to feel welcome. I found you on Facebook last year and it was so wonderful to be able to see that smiley face of yours again. I am sad to have only learned of your illness just today. You are gone in the physical, but your spirit will definitely live on. Rest peacefully sweetheart!

    There are not enough words of comfort that I can express to the family. You all are in my thoughts and just know that Kirby has always and will always continue to be loved tremendously.


  137. Emily W.
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 03:25:23

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Kirby’s family during this time. I had the great pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with Kirby in Edinburgh, Scotland where were both studying abroad in 2006. Many of my photos from Scotland have Kirby in them. I remember all the wonderful times we had over there. She was a kind and loving person and will me missed.


  138. Annie Houston
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 13:44:18

    Dear strong, determined, loving Kirby…take flight, sweet girl….you have put up a valiant fight surrounded by so many people who loved you and your wonderful family deeply…now take wing and soar…we hold you in our hearts…


  139. Michael Aldridge (SWW Class of '02)
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 16:15:48

    I have never met a person who was consistently positive. You could never have a bad attitude around her because her spirits were always so high, it would make you feel ashamed. They say the good always die young. That statement has never been more true than now.


  140. Alison Stow
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 02:04:50

    Thank you, Kirby, for your kindness and laughter in Ghana! It was your comfort with the Bechem School for the Deaf community which allowed me to begin my cultural integration at my future home, with ease. You were a strong role model for me in those first few weeks, which remain some of the most vivid memories from my time there. Your Ghanaian family, your mum, Kumasi, Sister Gifty and the market, Headmaster, beading, and dozens of kiddos…. God bless you! With lots of love to you and your family…


  141. Diane and John Shages
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 02:30:26

    If you have out of towners who need a bed, my basement w/ bath is available–double futon size bed. 1119 Independence Av.–just let me know. Diane


  142. Kate
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 02:36:34

    Kirby was truly a treasured old soul. She loved much, gave much, and inspired many. Her courage, hope, friendliness, and love touched my heart and the hearts and lives of others. Kirby, you will be sorely missed, more than words can say. The world is a better place because of you, our lives are more enriched because of you. We are so blessed to have a Kirbead in our hearts and will continue to share the loving memory of you. Judith, Owen, Robert and family, wishing you peace and gentle comfort.

    I look forward to seeing your rainbow, K-Angel.


  143. Debby kanter
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 03:32:54

    My deepest care to you all. Words fail me, but I can tell from reading this post, that Kirby was surrounded by incredible love and care. Sending my prayers,


  144. Mike Barnes (Class of '02)
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 16:52:34

    Kirby, with your mission in this world complete, you can finally rest; no more suffering. You take my love & respect with you. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to know you. I’ll never forget you. I’ll see you around.

    With love,
    Mike Barnes


  145. Susan Eubank and Larry Bowers
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 22:21:32

    I had only known Kirby as the legendary girl that she was. Now Kirby’s legend deepens. Judith, Robert and Owen, such a loss is unspeakably painful. I am sorry, as is my family.
    Susan Eubank and Larry Bowers
    and Lang & Casey Bowers, too


  146. terrance kean, aia, cua class of '88
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 22:25:35

    As a student in Judith’s studio at CUA 1985-1986, I met Kirby as a dear little girl, clinging to her Mom and Dad as we students invaded their home for a party. She was about the same age as the daughter I have now.

    It seems she turned into quite a woman, someone I would have wanted to know better, someone who touched many hearts and made the world better in many ways. I could wish no more for my own child.

    I offer my humble condolences to Judith, Robert & the family, and wish them & Kirby peace.


  147. Frank Nadal
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 23:07:52

    i only knew Kirby for a short time when we worked on an engineering project in New York. Kirby was knowledgeable, capable, resourceful, eager to help and you could tell she enjoyed what she was doing. She had a bright future. I was not aware of her illness but had I been, I would have added to the thousand cranes that are now flying with her.


  148. Denis McMullan
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 12:08:54

    Dear Robert and Judith , over the 20 plus years we have worked together your family feels like at extension of our family and your loss our loss. Please know our prayers are with you and for Kirby as she starts another journey , one we all will take to a place we all will meet again. Love and blessings .


  149. Marissa
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 16:44:04

    Cheerful, kind and talented Kirby, we will miss you.
    My deepest sympathy to Robert, Judith & Owen.


  150. Leila (from SWW c/o 2002)
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 17:34:21

    Knowing Kirby from our days at SWW, I look back fondly at the times we spent together in class and out and about DC. I remember her to be a kind and good person who was ready and able to work hard at whatever goal she set forth. Seeing all these messages makes it clear that she touched many people’s hearts and lives, in big and small ways.I don’t think i can fully express my condolences and sympathies to Kirby and your family and hope you have found peace


  151. Dr. Robin Halprin-Hawkins
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 21:41:59

    You are wonderful people. It is an honor to bear witness.

    Dr. Robin Halprin-Hawkins ’74


  152. Meredith, Tom and Gully
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 01:43:44

    We learned of your unthinkable news just now, and were filled with bittersweet warm memories from the past. Stalwart and loving parents, we salute you!


  153. Asmaa Maloul
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 05:16:26

    Dear Robert and Judith,
    Kirby was a great person. So nice and caring. I remember when I came to Smith I was away from home and family ( i am from Palestine) and she always gave me hugs and smiled at me. She was full of love and kindness. I know how you feel and the pain of losing her..I myself lost my brother few months ago..someone sent me this poem and I thought to share with you because It makes me feel like Kirby still with us but in a different way..

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave bereft
    I am not there. I have not left.



  154. Becca
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 02:38:47

    Here is the speech I gave at the ‘open mic’ after the funeral:

    [First I shared a impromptu story about my favorite entry in the Capen-Weinstein cookbook: a recipe that Kirby wrote when she was 5, with a comment by Judith at the end that says, “this tastes horrible.”]

    When the cancer diagnosis came in August, a million thoughts came in my mind. “I don’t want to have to speak at your funeral- or at least for another 50 years.” “You are supposed to come to my wedding.” “I’m supposed to come to your wedding.” “Our future kids are supposed to play together.” Or even better, we leave the significant others to watch the kids while we go chat and laugh in the kitchen.

    Kirby of course, always thinking of others said to me in September, “I’ll be fine.” And what does give me comfort is- for a short time on earth, she sure packed in a lot of living. In 28 years she travelled to Asia, Africa and Europe. She started her own beading business. She was amazing cook- a skill passed on from her amazing parents. Within two years at her first job out of college she was being invited to “manager meetings.” And in the last 5 months of her life had 42 thousand fans on her kirbystrong blog. A pretty impressive life indeed.

    Its so easy for her life to become overshadowed by the last 5 months of her life. But even in those worst moments Kirby kept her Kirbyness and big heart. After her abdominal surgery, she text me to ask how I was doing on the job search, and sent me an email with some job search links. Once when I visited her she asked me, “why aren’t you at work?” When I was at her bedside during hospice care, I started sniffling. She then woke up and asked if I was OK. A few minutes later I put my head on my arm to rest, and she woke up again and asked me if I wanted a pillow.

    Long before that, I was fortunate to have numerous visits in New York City, which mostly consisted of chatting and doing a one time visit to a museum, where when I balked at the $18 entrance fee, she said, “welcome to New York.” I was fortunate to go to Ghana with her, which helped inspire my future career track. I was fortunate to transfer to Smith, where she became the kind of friend that I knew that the right college was supposed to bring me. But she was more than that. She was both a friend and mentor and connector. For myself and so many others.

    I once asked Kirby, “where in DC would you want to live in the future?” She said “the hill.” I then said, “OK, besides the hill.” But if anything her burial place is so fitting. She loved the hill and everything about it. Even when I lived on the hill, I always felt it was Kirby’s place. When I walk here, on 8th street, in Eastern Market, I always think of Kirby and I always will. Kirby may physically stay on the hill, but her memory and legacy will remain in the hearts and soul of her family and friends over the world.


  155. Eric Dawson
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 02:44:34

    We remember Kirby’s genuine kindness and are so sorry for your loss. Please know that Kirby and the Capen family have been in our thoughts for the past few months and will remain so in the future.

    –Eric Dawson and Gerry Seedyke (from Capitol Hill Day School)


  156. Cat
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 22:09:30

    A few days ago I called Owen to share a story with him. It’s a story that touched me deeply and I also want to share it with the Kirby community.
    A few weeks ago I decided to battle the snow and sleet to see a speaker talk at Middlebury. After she finished her speech, a student asked her who was the most influential person in her life. She talked about her mentor John and an important lesson he taught her. He said that legacy is not about having your name on a plaque or a building named after you. It’s about the compassion, love and joy you leave in each individual that they then carry with them in their hearts. She concluded by saying “there are probably 100 parts of John walking around in people today”. This image stuck with me profoundly and I didn’t know why until I realized, I could not have found a more beautiful representation of Kirby. Her legacy is the connections she made, and hearts she touched, of everyone she encountered in her life. The support and love she received is a true testament to the courage, joy, goodness and love that she left with everyone she met. Kirby’s legacy will last forever and we are so fortunate to have met such a compassionate soul. I have no doubt that hundreds of little parts of Kirby will be carried around in people for the rest of their lives.



  157. Marlena
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 22:08:19


    I happened upon your weblog just today. I read every word. I did not know Kirby, but felt compelled to let your family know that my thoughts and prayers are simply that you will find peace in knowing that Kirby was so loved and so cherished by so many.

    Be blessed…and know that Kirby’s spirit is still with you.


  158. Allan Stump
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 04:03:39

    Kirby was just an awesome young woman. She always had this huge smile on her face whenever we talked, always looking ahead to new adventures and never taking a break. I’m very sad that we have lost her but I will talk about her alot and see to it that she continues living in our hearts.


  159. Kate
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 02:37:15

    Rainbow For Thoughts

    There are so many symbols that come to mind of Kirby. From her dazzling smile, big heart, large soulful blue eyes, fingers moving in front of her face,…I wanted to share my words on Thursday, but I refrained and soaked in the many stories, love and tears.

    I was linked to Kirby through Becca Berman for the past wonderful five and a half years. I did not understand why the image of the natural phenomena of a rainbow flash before my very eyes at the mention of Kirby, until yesterday morning.

    When a rainbow appears after mighty storms, breaking through the gray sky and into a brilliant blue, it stops you in your tracks. Remember spotting a rainbow as a child and feeling the sudden urge to jump up and down, point and shout: “Look, a rainbow!” You feel so special to see one. As you admire the rainbow, words and emotions arise…beauty, awe, inspiring, peace, colorful, marvelous, happiness and many more – all of the adjectives emulate Kirby to a “T”.

    Rainbows are full of color, hence her beads. Rainbows are a symbol of peace, Kirby linked peace through craft, not only in Ghana, but with everyone. The beads we wear comfort us and infuse Kirby’s peace.

    In Greco-Roman mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger(Iris) between Earth and Heaven.

    So next time you spot a rainbow, say “Hello” to Kirby, for she is a rainbow.


  160. Yael
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 19:29:22


    Rosie and I are heading down to NY together today, and I am thinking of you. In my mind, we get off the train and head to your apartment, cook, bake, hang out, catch up, laugh, maybe go to the roof and enjoy a spectacular view of the city.

    I miss you so much. I wish we could be hanging out with you tonight.

    Love always,



  161. Amy
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 01:22:24

    Dear Kirby,

    Would it surprise you to know that duct cleaning/sealing contractors continue to bedevil the ED?



  162. Tiz
    May 12, 2012 @ 15:46:23

    I am just finding out that you is no longer with us and my heat is braking. We known each other for about 15 years and you have always been a sweet and kind person and I am so bless to have known you. I am so sorry we have not talked it a couple of years and that we seems to never have time to meet up when you was in D.C but I love you so much


  163. Alix
    Jun 16, 2012 @ 20:52:42

    I just read this news in the Alumnae Quarterly, and am shocked and saddened by Kirby’s passing. I did not know her well, but she was uniquely kind and spiritual in our encounters through Hillel, and I never forgot her generosity. She was my ‘big sister’ during my first year at Smith when I explored the possibility of getting involved with Hillel, and she gave me lots of personal bead creations and cards. She was so easy to talk to, and I always had the sense she was going places with her strong compassion. Sad as I am to hear that she is no longer with us, I hope that her legacy lives on. I know it will in me.
    Best wishes to her family and friends. I am glad I had the chance to know Kirby Capen.


  164. Judy Daniel
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 16:30:59

    Thinking of all of you with love. Would love to see Robert and Judith when the time is right for you. Love you.


  165. Ilona Klein
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 18:03:32

    As we approach the first anniversary of loosing Kirby, I know we are all thinking of her with a mixture of laughter and tears. This past week there was an article in Ann about a play-in-progress by Alex Kip called MY OTHER VOICE. I was glad to have the opportunity to remember Kirby by supporting Alex’s production via Fractured Atlas, a website to support programs and services for artists and arts organizations.

    Love to all,


  166. Tiz
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 15:15:35

    Can’t believe it been a year since we lost you it is hard for me to go to Children’s Hospital now cause I always seems to think about you. I miss you Kirby so much.


    Mar 24, 2013 @ 02:36:36

    Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological world the whole thing is accessible on net?


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    Superb choice of colors!
    Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
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    Hello are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Howdy this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with
    experience. Any help would be enormously
    Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several
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    Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying
    your blog and look forward to new posts.
    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to
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    Any suggestions?
    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very
    good success. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up? I’m
    assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
    Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!
    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!


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