My name is Jennifer Kirby. I live in Sioux Falls, S.D. with my husband Joe and our dog Holmes. I graduated from Augustana College with a degree in Economics and a minor in math. I also received my MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Over the years, I’ve worked in banking in a variety of ways.

I’m currently busy with several volunteer projects in Sioux Falls. I’m the incoming Board Chair for Levitt at the Falls and chair of its capital campaign. I’m also leading the effort to bring an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge to Sioux Falls.

I had two significant losses in 2016 that led me to create this blog. My sweet mom died in January of 2016 from metastasized melanoma. She was only 70 years old and was kindness and gentleness personified. She was also very smart and funny! I miss hearing her melodic voice on the phone, excited to hear from me. Here she is:

IMG_1384

Jacquie Frerichs

After she passed away, I was grateful to have my affectionate, ever-present dog Henry. I repeatedly told my husband that while my mom had passed away, “At least I have Henry.” If I was ever sitting in the house, he was curled up in a ball on top of me or next to me. And when I was standing, he would be no more than 12 inches away from me, staring at my feet, waiting for any sign of movement.

My beloved dog, Henry, passed away unexpectedly from cancer at age 4 on April 15, 2016. Here he is:

Henry close up

After the loss of my mom and Henry, I’ve been thinking about my life and what matters. I’ve also realized that mortality is not an “in theory” concept, but a very real one. If they can pass away, so will I. Of course, I’ve always known that to be true. And my dad died in a plane crash when I was 5 years old, so I’ve been acquainted with death. But this year I’ve witnessed it again first-hand.

Knowing this, I’ve been thinking about how I want to spend these precious years I have. I’m doing many things I value, however, I want to share more of myself, my ideas and perspective with the world. This is the beginning of that.

Henry! Mom! Thank you for helping get this going.