Friday, May 8, 2009


Since Mother's Day is approaching this Sunday, I thought it is appropriate time for me to dedicate my b/vlog to my mother, Jane Howe Kiel. She was my best friend and like a big sister to me instead of being mother, but she was my biological mother. She was born Jane Vivian Howe on January 7, 1929. Throughout her life, she loved drama, music and playing tennis or bridge with ladies. She had performed in school plays as well as some plays at Elk's Lodge.

Jane was born on January 7, 1929. The picture was taken during Spring 1929 in front of house at 204 N. Rock Hill in Webster Groves, Missouri. The white house in the background was built by her grandfather, Frederick William Howe in the late 1890s.

Jane was surrounded by her favorite men - Kenneth W. Howe (father), Jack Howe (brother on left) Gene Howe (brother on right) and Herb Howe (the baby brother on lap) - taken Summer 1932. The men were overprotective of Jane as she was the first Howe girl in 75 years of family history.

Paul Kiel Jr. and Jane Howe were married on July 7, 1951 at Holy Reedemer Church in Webster Groves, Missouri.

Jane and Paul III - March 1952 - It was in the backyard of Kiel family house in Glendale, Missouri. The neighborhood kids were visiting me when they heard I was the newborn. My paternal grandfather was in the background on the porch.

Jane and Paul III - March 1953 - A year later at the Howe House.

Jane and Paul III at his sixth birthday - February 1958 - She brought cake and ice cream to school to help celebrate my birthday. It was fun and I remember it like yesterday.

Jane and Paul III at high school graduation - June 6, 1971 - Jane was so proud of me that day as I was the fourth generation in her family to attend Webster Groves Schools - my great grandmother, my grandfather, my mom and I all went to same school.

Jane and Paul III during Thanksgiving break from Gallaudet College - November 1972. That was the last picture taken less than a year before her passing from cancer on October 25, 1973.

I remembered how difficult it was for her as she used gestures to communicate with me before sending me to oral school. She would use pictures and mouth words to tell me what she was trying to say. Then after oral school, they told her not to use gestures or sign language. I was upset as I wanted to learn. She said to wait until I finish high school then it was up to me.

She raised three sons, Paul, Kenneth and Robert mostly on her own when she divorced dad in 1960. She worked hard to see that the boys were fed and schooled.

There was one time incident in Fulton, Missouri back in 1964, She caught me staring at deaf adults using sign language. She tried to tell me not to do it. She did not know that. She was not sure what was right - using oral or sign language.

Then after high school, I was allowed to use sign language. I did know some sign language on my own time away from her when I was growing up. She finally took the time to learn sign language. I was delighted that she started signing, but unfortunately it was short-lived as the cancer took her. She was unable to use her voice on her deathbed so she used sign language to tell me to tell her attorney and relatives the last time I saw her. That memory burns in my mind for the rest of my life. I still do love you, Mom! Now 36 years after her passing to this day, I still think and love my mom. Happy Mother's Day to you! =)