Alice Mitchell (AM) and Ibukun Owolabi (IO)
AM: It’s still really hard to talk about her, because her passing was around the same time as you being born, so it’s like…
IO: …A happy moment and a sad moment.
AM: Yeah, but in the two weeks you guys were together, she was always kissing you and aways holding you, she did love you a lot. Do you think that you two have any similarities?
IO: Yeah, I probably get my stubbornness from her.
AM: Definitely, you got that from Mommy. She wanted you to have a Nigerian first name, and we were like, “Let’s just make it easy and give him an English name.” So everybody decided on Jacob, but she was like, “My son’s name is Ibukunoluwa.” And your name means Blessing from God. Do you think Mommy made the right choice in naming you?
IO: Well, I like my name but not really other people do.
AM: Wait, what do you mean?
IO: Oh, well they just make fun of it.
AM: But would you want us to change it?
AM: With your name, and just anything in life, Mommy, if she had an opinion, she wasn’t going to back down. Well Ibukun, this is the longest conversation we’ve had about Mommy, so if there’s anything you ever wanted to ask…
IO: I can ask it now?
IO: Okay, what was your favorite memory of Mommy?
AM: Huh, I have a lot. I remember I was like 10, I was in 4th grade. Wait, how old are you?
IO: I skipped kindergarten so…
AM: Well excuse me…
AM: She was a nurse, she worked the night shift, and so she came home really late. I came over and I took off her shoes and I gave her a foot massage. I remember she was telling the person on the phone how nurturing I was. And, now I’m a teacher, and any time someone asks me why I’m a teacher, I’m like, “I’m nurturing.” That’s exactly what Mommy said about me.
IO: Well, I feel a little depressed that she’s not here to say what she wants to say about me.
AM: She’d probably just be standing back nodding her head, being like, “I did that, I did that.”
AM: You’re like a little piece of Mommy on earth, so I just want you to really understand who you are and where you come from.