In The Beginning
"Our story begins with the characters who gave us birth, including their past relationships with their parents and issues such as success and shame; power and abuse; love, loss, and addiction; heartache and secrets; and family myths." - To Be Told
Setting The Stage
My birth is my beginning, but the reality is that I owe my beginning to the generations that came before me. I can not divorce myself from the themes that took place before my birth because they serve as the stage that I have walked onto, and as a backdrop to the rest of my life. To understand my story and life mission, you'll need to step into the simultaneously messy and beautiful themes that played out before I was born.
"I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences." - C.S. Lewis
Mother | Terrilyn
This is my mother's high school senior picture. I've always liked this picture, but as I started to "look along" my mother's story, it became deeply special to me.
On the surface, this is a picture of a beautiful 17-year-old girl who's excited about the possibilities and promise of life after high school. But when I took the time to "look along" the picture, I discovered a different and more profound story that has reshaped my entire understanding of my mother, which ultimately transformed our relationship.
Around the time that the picture above was taken, my mother, along with her three younger siblings, were experiencing the tragedy of a house being ripped apart due to her parents divorcing. To make matters worse, shortly after the divorce, her mother died from a brain aneurysm. After her mother's death, she was uprooted from her family home and moved into the house of her father, whom at the time was living with his girlfriend. During this time, my mother never felt welcomed and as a result, moved out shortly after graduating from high school to face a rapidly changing world alone.
Father | Robert
This is a picture of my father (center) with his aunt and uncle at a local club. At the time it was taken, he was in his early twenties. On the surface, you see a guy who is well put together, but when you "look along" the picture, you discover a man who was out to prove his worth to the world after a rough start.
When my father was born, his mother was only 16. Later in his childhood, he was given away to a relative due to unfortunate circumstances. At the age of 16, he left home and got his first apartment and job. Unfortunately, he was evicted because he didn't make enough money to pay the rent. As a result of these events, my father launched himself into an entrepreneurial life, where he was hell-bent on securing his security and sense of self-worth through his work.
Son | Kyle Christian Steele
My mom was working at a neighborhood store, trying to survive, and my father was a regular customer.
"He was a flamboyant guy. I used to watch him get out of this fancy sports car that he made look tiny because he was so big." - Mother
"She was a cute girl. All the guys tried to talk to her. Plus, I knew she was struggling and I was in a position to help her." - Father
After several years of dating, my mother became pregnant with me. During the pregnancy, she was extremely nervous about having a child because of the instability in her life.
"I was scared to have a baby because I didn't have my mother around. I had friends who had babies but they had their mothers." - Mother
Ultimately, through sheer persistence and stubbornness, my father was able to calm my mother down. On a rainy day in August, I was born at Hutzel hospital in Detroit Michigan.
I'm officially on the stage.