StoryCorps In Kansas City — A Mother's Legacy Lives Through Her Daughter
The StoryCorps MobileBooth came to Kansas City this summer to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.
Sada K. Jackson's mother, Ileana Watson, passed away in 2016 after battling breast cancer. So when Jackson got a chance to record at the StoryCorps MobileBooth, she chose to sit down with her mother's good friend Angela Morehead-Mugita.
"I want to know more about my mom as a woman because I only knew her as mom," Jackson said. "How often do you get to sit with your parents' friends and just ask questions and they don't get to jump in and say, 'Don't tell her that!'"
Morehead-Mugita said acting as a confidante for Watson, and vice versa, is an aspect of their friendship that remained theirs.
"The part that most children don't see from their parents is the vulnerability. I think for us, we became vaults for one another," Morehead-Mugita said.
One of those moments was when Morehead-Mugita gave birth to her son. She came home and panicked at the weight of her new motherhood.
"I picked up the phone and I'm just bawling," Morehead-Mugita said. "She's like, 'Listen, girl, sit down, you'll be alright ... you're going to hold your baby, you're going to sit up ... now man up!'
"That's the one thing about Ileana: She would never let me lose it," Morehead-Mugita said.
Jackson admitted that situation was hard for her to hear because her mother died when she was eight months pregnant.
"Not having that chance to call her when I got home still bothers me," Jackson said through tears. "At the same time, I hear her say 'Don't you be no sad mama for my grandbaby!' I felt her with me."
Morehead-Mugita assured Jackson that the memory of her mother is still within her, even if they're no longer together. She comforted Jackson with words that Watson told her during her own mother's funeral.
"'You will not lose it, you will not break down, and you will walk in the legacy that your mother left for you.'"
Matthew Long-Middleton is a community producer for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter @MLMIndustries.
Cody Newill is an audience development specialist for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill.