Photo and story by Danyelle Tillman
The hot sun was beaming on Bradley Mitchell’s face as his last day in rural Byram approached, with him soon returning to Jackson to live. He looked around and soon realized that the country place was like a second home to him.
Mitchell is a city boy with a country past. His mother, Delores Mitchell, has a wonderful mom to him as he grew up, but after she began to have health problems, he went to live with his Aunt Sherry in the country and soon became comfortable there. His favorite thing was when he would feed the animals and bond with them. He loved this because it gave him more time to spend with his aunt.
He stayed down there for a couple years and fell in love with country life, where he likes to feed the animals, listen to country rap and hear people talk about superstitions. . At the same time he missed his mom and the city. He was in contact with his mother, who told him how she was getting better and that he would soon come home. Mitchell was overjoyed about returning to his friends even if he was sad about leaving Byram.
Soon after he got settled back in Jackson, Mitchell was diagnosed with ADHD on what he says was the worst day of his life. “I thought I was just weird, and I was OK with that, but then I felt like I was crazy,” he says.
“Will I ever be normal? Will people look at me different? How will this new drug affect me? Will this help me relate to what my mom went through?” he thought then.
When Mitchell saw his mother for the first after he returned he was overjoyed with excitement. Once they had him on the drug for ADHD, he started to behave better, but he didn’t feel like himself and told his mom. “I don’t want to force you to do anything you don’t want to do,” his mother said. “I love you.” She left it up to him whether to take the medicine.
After that moment, the bond between Mitchell and his mother strengthened and became unbreakable. Before he knew it, he was visiting the country again. He packed a bag and was prepared to do hard work again, and see his aunt and cousins. He would wake every morning to make breakfast and tend to his family duties.
Mitchell’s childhood may not have been great, but he made it the best he could. He is a free spirit with a soothing confident personality. “Even if you’re new to school, I will talk to you,” he says.
Now an 11th grader at Jim Hill High School, Mitchell was excited to get started at the Youth Media Project where he is focusing on video. “This is a way to better myself and to have people finally understand me as me,” he says.
YMP student journalist Danyelle Tillman is in the 12th grade at Murrah High School.