Growing up, Alice Mitchell (left) was always very close with her mother Rosemary Owolabi. A Nigerian immigrant as proud of her heritage as she was of her children, Rosemary would pick Alice up from school dressed in vibrantly colored garments and head-wraps. When Alice was 14, her mother died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest just two weeks after giving birth to a child, a boy she named Ibukunoluwa, which translates to “Blessing from God.” Alice was forced to become both sister and mother to her new brother, who they call Ibukun, and took the lead in raising him the way she believed her mother would have wanted him brought up. Over the years he has seen pictures and heard stories about his mother, but came to StoryCorps with Alice to talk for the first time about losing their mother. This StoryCorps Signature interview was recorded in 2016 in our Lower Manhattan Storybooth. Originally aired July 1, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
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