A Bittersweet Life Has A Happy Ending

Photo of Broadnax to go with story

Special to the Daily World
My name is Tokeithia Bradley and I would like to share with you how my mother changed my life from bitter to sweet. I was put into foster care when I was only seven months old and stayed there until I turned 18 years of age. I went from home to home, never having a mother to call my own until almost 30 years later.
I grew up and completed school in the state of Alabama. After I finished high school I joined the United States Army and served faithfully until I was injured in 2003. That was an extremely difficult time in my life with few people to help take care of me. However, in 2005, I had the chance to come to Atlanta, for a church event that would change my life. While there I heard the most beautiful singing voice ever! I was truly blown away by the power and anointing in the voice of Ms. Roxanne Broadnax. I had no idea that she would be person that I would someday call “mom”.
In December of 2009, I moved from Alabama to Atlanta, GA. I was continuing to have health problems and finding sufficient housing was no easy task for me at that time. I went to church and to my surprise I saw Ms. Broadnax again. This time we actually met, talked, and I even bought one of the demo CDs.
With no help in sight and my problems not getting any better, I knew it was time for me to reach out for assistance. For some reason, which I still have not figured out, I called her and asked her for help. She expressed how she could and would help me, but I was doubtful because I had heard similar promises in my past. Instead of continuing to talk about it, she said “…don’t take my word for it, just let me show you”. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Broadnax called me and blew my uncertainty out of the water. She had found me a place to live! It was close enough to her so that she could help care for me. She began taking me to my doctor’s appointments and helping me keep my affairs in order.
I felt myself growing closer to her so I started to try and push her away. I loved her like a mother and didn’t want to think about what would happen if she ever walked out of my life just like others had done in my past. Even with my best effort Ms. Broadnax did not leave me. She told me that she would always be in my life as long as I needed her. I called her mamma and told her I would always need her to be my mother and love me. But I owe a lot to Ella and James Miller, my godparents, who Mrs. Miller told “mamma” to follow her heart and don’t be afraid or distrusting.
Here it is 2012 and she is still my mother; I am her child I love her and she loves me. We talk on the phone everyday and she comes to visit just to make sure I am okay. All of this took a bit of getting used to because it all felt like a big dream to me. I had never had a mother before so I did not know what to expect, or how to show her how great the extent that I appreciated her.
My mother has truly helped me overcome the pain from my childhood and has been there for me as an adult with illness and injury. My mother is my world; she is the reason I wake up with a smile each day. I thank God for my mother. I had a bitter life growing up but it is oh so sweet now. My mother’s name is Ms. Roxanne Broadnax, a church going, gospel singer.

EDITOR’S NOTEL Tokeithie Bradley is a 34 year-old, mentally challenged, honorable discharged veteran, who asked that her story about her adopted mother be told. Roxanne Broadnax, Ms. Bradley’s mother who has a Birthday on July 31, gives her medication for several disorders and has taken care of her since 2009. Between her singing with a gospel group called “New Direction,” and taking care of Tokeithie, her own mother and three children, Ms. Broadnax still manages to keep a smile. It just goes to show there are some good people in this world and Roxanne Broadnax is one of them. .Ms. Bradley resides in Austell, Georgia around the corner from her ‘Mom’.


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