T-Mitch Withdrawal

This has been an awful week – I mean, yeah – an emotional roller coaster is a day-to-day, but man! I’m in withdrawal mode in more ways than just one. It’s been insane.

I hear him talking to me in my mind… this is probably the only thing keeping me somewhat sane. Of course I have dear fam and friends to rely on and am thankful for them.

I’m not going to go down the path of listing everything because that’s just for me, but just know that this type of grief is probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me (and Das). Sure … I have lost plenty of loved ones. It never seems fair and it never is. This time though … there’s a physical and a deep mental aspect that one can’t fathom unless you experience it yourself.

Torey was and will always be my soul mate. The only one who ever knew me to my core. No one else has any idea – no one. No, really – NO ONE.

I know this has been hard on a lot of folks – family and friends alike. His energy can never be overlooked, no matter how you knew him. A true individual with so many hopes and dreams.

Das is keeping a brave face and speaking to his counselors on a regular basis – and I’m on top of this. I don’t force him into any conversations but I try to express myself as best as I can. He’s simply amazing and he wouldn’t be if he didn’t have Torey as his father. I believe this more than anything.

I’ve been jammin’ to all of T-Mitch’s favorite albums and the most recent was Biggie’s Life After Death. MAN! When T-Mitch had his 300ZX back in the late 90s – that was the shit!!! LOL! It’s amazing how music can take you back in time and re-live so many moments. On that note here are a few tracks he loved so much!

He loved this one because of how Biggie painted what was damn near a screen play:

And here he is after getting his Z a new paint job thanks to Zaso!

z

I feel your smile, my Love. I do. I love you …

 

How it All Started: Beginning

My therapist recommended me to document certain points of my life relating to Torey – solely for me to look back on. I thought about this long and hard – whether to keep this to myself or share it on this platform.

I’m going to share most of it here – only because I know as a bi-racial couple, we helped so many people to think outside of the box. And I feel like Torey would want me to express myself here – to do justice for our relationship. So … here it goes (no, I won’t be mentioning names nor will I be specific when it comes to family issues – everything will be generalized).

I graduated high school in the summer of 1995 and started a job at a call center by the DFW airport. I was a customer service rep for Ryder Truck Rentals – yes, the rental company for moving things around. It was a new door for me to open: I met new people from different walks of life while earning some decent money. I liked it – it was an escape from my day-to-day and I looked forward to it!

Training classes came in on a weekly/bi-weekly basis … there was always “new-blood” and one week in the cafeteria while I was having lunch, I spotted him. He was in a long sleeved, olive green Tommy Hilfiger shirt and blue jeans with Doc Martin boots on (East coast vibe back then). My goodness – his almond shaped eyes got the best of me. I couldn’t help but to look at him and watched him as he conversed with his peers – he spoke with such animated arm gestures! He had these v-shaped “hoop” earrings on both ears – that was at the beginning of this fashion trend for guys back then…

It was a weekend – a Saturday shift – and his class’ trainer (Kenneth was his name) decided to pair Torey with me to help train him. Bad thing was that I was completely too relaxed in my apparel – I was in a multi-colored plaid hoodie with grubby jeans, my hair was a mess tied up and well … I was coloring in a damn Aladdin coloring book (I love art and this was my pass-time as a silly 18 year old – judge-me-not!). I wasn’t prepared to talk to the boy with the perfect almond shaped eyes!

Torey sat next to me and was ever such the gentleman – he asked me how I was, what I liked about the job, what pointers I had for him…. and the whole time I was the Ice Queen. I didn’t feel comfortable in what I was dressed in and what I thought his first impression was of me! The moment didn’t last too long. I remembered going home and telling myself, “Be prepared, ALWAYS!!”

A few days went by and I remember going to work in the typical ’90’s Left-Eye-From-TLC fashion one day … I had on my brother’s Tommy collard, shirt with some black Girbaud jeans and my Mia sandals. I sat at my station and saw the new training group being led out on the floor to sit with us. Kenneth assigned Torey to sit with me again… this is where history took place! I introduced myself to him – even shared my nickname “Anu” with him. We talked about music, movies, likes, dislikes, interests and we connected. We connected in a way that was honestly: pure. I learned that he was attending Morehouse at the time and couldn’t really afford it and was looking to move back to Texas. We didn’t have outside influences – nor did we have social media. We were just US. He liked me. I liked HIM. We had so much in common and I was in awe of how smart he was… I never had anyone quite like him have an interest in me.

A few things we had in common:

    • Gangster classics like The Godfather, Carlito’s Way, Scarface, Goodfellas, The Untouchables, A Bronx Tale, etc
    • Lenny Kravitz, Hootie and the Blowfish, Portishead, Guns n Roses, Sade, oh my goodness and so much more
    • Both of us were the oldest out of our siblings and had similar growing pains – haha!

We parted ways that day and I couldn’t wait to see/talk him again.

A few weeks went by before I saw him again. I was sitting at one of the work stations and happened to turn around to face a door with a window that showed the entrance of the center. I caught a guy in a gray CK T-shirt with familiar earrings and I could tell he was talking to the security guard. I had just gotten contacts and I knew it was Torey by sight – sad thing was the ventilation of the center made my eyes so damn irritated – pretty sure my contacts had something to do with it, too. I was so damn GEEKED!

As I stood up I saw Torey enter my portion of the center and our eyes locked and we instantly smiled! I couldn’t help it! “He was HERE TO SEE ME!!??” is what was squealing in my head – but my conscious told me to chill out because he was probably there to pick his paycheck up.

Torey got to my desk and we talked … he asked why my eyes were so red and I told him. Years later he confessed he thought I was high as hell! LOL! I ended up giving him my number and when I did, I said, “Watch out for my parents.” I’m pretty sure we were both cheesing from ear to ear!

He walked me to my car later that day and I asked him, “Are we going out or what?” – this was COMPLETELY unlike me because I had never been in the dating scene before! I felt compelled to ask because our connection was too intense and I wanted to spend more time with him! I remember this moment like it was yesterday – it was a hot, summer day and he  had one of his brothers with him. We decided on when when to meet up to watch a movie together and the butterflies in my stomach were more alive than ever!

Wait until you hear about our first date! (coming soon!)

Do’s and Don’t’s ?

Honestly … there’s so much on my mind and I’m not sure how to address things, so excuse my ramble. Hopefully it makes sense, but if it doesn’t then you know I’m not hard to find to converse.

I don’t like being checked on every day by the same people – I understand you have nothing but love and concern, but seriously… stop. I get it, but it’s not necessary. It almost makes me feel like you think I’m incapable of taking care of myself and Das. We’re doing the best we can and we’re making it work. So please stop your text messages and phone calls. Let’s go back to how things were before all of this when it comes to communicating.

Re-connecting with people who have been out of touch has been an eye-opener in a good way. People change, but it’s amazing to see how many still love and appreciate what T-Mitch brought to their lives. I had a moment this week that blew my mind thanks to Zarah and I’ll never forget it… and I want to pay it forward like Ellen preaches on a day to day. I’ll get my moment.

Don’t call/contact me if you don’t expect to hear from me. It’s a waste of time.

Das is okay … but he’s also learning a lot from the silence spoken from many of you. If you want to stay relevant in his life, then you shouldn’t have to be told to do it. Now is the time (if you care, that is).

Again, I don’t like the constant texts or calls. Neither does Das.

Aaaaaand … here you go:

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Restoration of Sight

I received a letter from UT Southwestern Medical Center last week. They expressed their condolences and then thanked Torey for donating his tissue. Even in death he has been able to help around 50 people…

The letter informed me that two ladies in their early 70s received restoration of sight because of Torey’s generosity! Can you imagine how overjoyed they are right now? Can you see the smile on Torey’s face!? I can … I know he’s proud of this. I know he’s content knowing he helped people in more ways beyond death than he could have imagined. What a selfless act … makes me thankful that I had decided to be a donor a long time ago, too.

It’s hard not to let the sadness overrule the day, but I’m making sure it doesn’t dictate our day to day. Das has been doing well given the circumstances. It’s not easy at all … I find myself looking for any kind of distraction. Thankfully a certain someone put me on ‘Shameless‘ and I’ve been watching it on Netflix ever since the holidays. The Gallaghers are a trip!

I see him in my dreams often … the dream I had more recently was on Das’ birthday night. Torey walked in during the early part of an evening as he usually would – laptop bag on his shoulder, carrying paperwork in his hands along with food for dinner. He walked in with Green Sox gear on (as pictured below) with his black sweat pants. He was showing off his mischievous grin I loved so much!

I stood up from sitting on the couch as Das walked into the living room … the both of us were looking at him in disbelief.

Das: “Dad, is this really you? Are you really here?”
Me: “Torey, where the hell have you been!? You’re not leaving again are you?”

Torey looked at both of us and with a twinkle in his eye he responded, “From the other side!”

I was crying and smiling at the same time… We kissed.

1.13.20

Prepping for 1.11.2020

I haven’t really written in this blog since New Year’s Eve… my bad. Talking to my therapist has been helping a lot – it’s nice to have a sounding board who isn’t biased and influenced by religion like majority of the people I know. The more I talk to her the more I realize how many things I need to do in order to better our lives (mine and Das’ no doubt). This also made me realize that some of my decisions may not sit well with some people, but I’m okay with it. I have to live my truth for my own sanity’s sake… and I need my sanity to make sure Das is taken care of the way Torey and I have always intended him to be taken care of: free thought and to allow him to make his own decisions to mold his life the way he wants it to be molded. 

I will be here for Das the way Torey and I said we always would be – the kind of parent that nurtures his heart’s desires while making sure he’s being the best he can be at whatever he puts his mind to. Das’ 16th Birthday is coming up on Saturday – a milestone Torey and I had been looking forward to for many years now (along with all of the other milestones in life). Torey had always striven to be the father he never had for Das:  

  • He showed unconditional love – he was open-minded and accepting of Das’ personality traits 
  • A true provider
  • Ever attentive to Das’ needs and wants
  • A disciplinarian (but yes, the man had his weaknesses when it comes to our kid, but so do I!)
  • A true guardian and a wall of trust
  • He showed so much affection 
  • He always encouraged Das in anything Das wanted to do 
  • Encouraged Das to be the better person in any given situation
  • Encouraged Das to always think about Mother Earth
  • Always there to give sound words of advice
  • He loved to keep Das grounded by poking fun at him and making sure Das doesn’t take himself too seriously

I mean … there’s so much more, but this was the gist of it so far!

Today’s post is about keeping all of this alive and ongoing … I will not stop our joint parenting efforts. I still talk to Torey like he’s here (whether in my head or out loud) – I still say stuff like, “Ummm … he’s YOUR son, you can’t be surprised with this!”

Every year I repost a note I had published on Das’ birthday back in 2011 and I make sure to post an update every year. I’m going to share this post here now … and I’ll update it on FB on Das’ birthday, yet again. Here you go:

The Day Our Son Was Born

Back in January of 2004, we lived off of Chimney Rock & Highway 59 in Houston… and had a very spacious one-bedroom apartment. I was big and pregnant, working at Arbitron while Torey sold Dish Network to all the new subdivisions in & around Houston. My doctor, Dr. Jackson, had told me the due date would be on Valentine’s Day (yes, my son IS a lovechild!)… the crib was bought, but not put together. I had plenty of gifts from my baby shower, but none of them had been opened or prepared. We figured we’d get to all the preparations at some point before the due date. Dr. Jackson ended up in going on vacation and Dr. Nguyen took over.

While I was pregnant, and before I knew the sex of the baby, I always referred to the baby as “he” or “him” … I wanted a boy SO badly! Nothing against little girls, Y’all, but I grew up with my brother who got me interested in cars, jets, and transformers … my Dad has always been an avid sports fan, so I had a love for football, basketball, and tennis … and while in India, my older cousin was a boy and we played cricket all day long … so the male influence during my childhood made it easier for me to get along with guys. Plus I have a lot of uncles on both sides of the family …. Please excuse my ramble moment.

Anyway, you get the idea!

Once we got the sonogram on September 23rd, 2003, I was ecstatic! Not only was my baby a BOY, but his facial profile was almost an exact replica of Torey’s profile! I couldn’t help wishing again, “I hope he gets those almond-shaped eyes!!” Torey’s eyes got me the first moment I saw them … Irresistible! (TMI? WHATEVS! This is MY story, thank you!)

Deciding on a name was actually really easy for us. We brainstorm really well together, so this process wasn’t difficult. Sure, growing up you think of “perfect” names you want to give your children, but none of those seemed to fit right for either of us anymore. We wanted something very special and unique for our son.

We had just watched Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” together – we had borrowed the DVD from a friend. We discussed how amazing Mahatma Gandhi was and how inspirational his legacy is. Torey got really quiet and asked, “How about Mohandas?” I thought about it … I liked it. A lot. It meant that our son would learn the virtues Gandhi taught to our world and he’d realize where civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King got their inspiration. Plus, the last 3 letters of Gandhi’s first name reminded me of my Grandfather’s nickname: Das. My Grandfather’s name was Prabhudas.

My mind went to work for the middle name and without hesitation, I said, “Malcolm for the middle name?” Torey loved it. It was an amazing moment. Mohandas Malcolm. A perfect ying-yang of ideals and philosophies. Das. Perfect! Mohandas Malcolm Mitchell.

On January 10, 2004, I spent my day with Torey and a few of my in-laws who were visiting us from San Antonio – they had just had a daughter, Ashley, 5 or 6 months prior to their visit. Since I never really dealt with babies, it was nice to be around Ashley (I got to change a diaper or two!) … Torey and his Uncle hung out that night (if you know either of them, then you’ll know how hardcore it got! Haha!) while I had dinner with his Uncle’s wife, Patricia, and Ashley. We went to Pappa’s Seafood and I had some kind of a shrimp dish. After that, Patricia dropped me off at my apartment and left to put Ashley to sleep in their hotel.

I have no idea when Torey got home, but it was late, he was … intoxicated and had a lot of fun! I was a bit jealous, but I knew I didn’t have to wait too long for a drink or two. Needless to say, he immediately fell into a deep sleep. I woke up around 4 am (my usual I-gotta-roll-out-of-bed-to-pee-time when I was pregnant) to use the restroom. Once I … handled my business … I noticed that my business didn’t look like it had stopped being handled! It was like a never-ending stream of clear pee! That’s when I had my light-bulb moment: my water broke. Uh oh. I didn’t panic and I didn’t run in to wake Torey up. Instead, I called my doctor. He told me to meet him at the Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in 15 minutes. I got dressed & held a towel between my legs (yes, gross, but I couldn’t think of any other logical solution!)

I went to wake Torey up and gently nudged him, “Torey, wake up. My water broke. We gotta go to the hospital.”

Torey is obviously still under the influence, and he responds with, “Honey, don’t worry. Let’s call the doctor in the morning. Come back to bed.” As much as I wanted to laugh I replied with, “Torey, I just talked to the doctor and he wants me to meet him in 15 minutes at the hospital.”

He immediately sprung out of bed and got dressed with the expression of, “Whaaaat?? REALLY!!???” on his face. I had no time to pack “The Bag” … you know the hospital bag with all your necessities? Of course not! This is happening way too early!

For the record, I must say: Torey was in no rush to get to the hospital. He drove the speed limit. His reasoning: “I’m already drunk and if we get pulled over, we’d have more trouble.”

My reasoning: “My contractions have started, motherf****r, they don’t feel good, and I’m STILL LEAKING!” (LOL)

We got to the hospital around 4:45 am, they checked me in and wheeled me to my room. I had already decided on getting the epidural shot and was going to have Das naturally. My parents and my brother were on their way from Fort Worth – I was SO anxious to see my Mom! She’s an OBGYN Nurse and I had always imagined her being there next to me at every moment of this big day, but Das decided not to wait any longer to come out. Oh and for those of you who are wondering if he was a pre-mature baby – no, the doctor (Dr. Nguyen) later said I had my calculations all wrong (well duh me!). Don’t blame me though – I was still having a cycle well into the first 3 months of my pregnancy so I had NO clue I was pregnant! Mother Nature certainly has her sense of humor, huh?

The pains from the contractions are unforgettable. They are nothing like anything I had ever felt before. You hear about women who have really bad cramps, but contractions make cramps look like the size of Earth next to Jupiter. But to be quite honest, mine were tolerable… I wasn’t screaming in agony – I just had to take some really deep breaths to get over them. No big deal. Really.

Torey was watching football and reading a magazine. Every now and again he’d share a story from the mag, and I think I kept giving him the “do-I-really-care-about-that-right-now?” look. Poor guy – he was still pretty hung over.

Around 9:30 or 10 o’clock that morning the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. As a young girl, I had always been scared of anesthesiologists. Why? Have you ever read any of Robin Cook’s books!? “Coma” (good movie by the way!) was one, but “Harmful Intent” was the kicker for me in the hospital. Plus the whole idea of having a needle poked into your spine is just an insane idea! He kept missing the spot (uh oh!) and kept asking me to bend over more – “Helloooo! I am pregnant! I can’t bend over any more than I already have!!” is what I was thinking…. I have no idea what my expressions were at this point and I don’t really remember talking.

The nurse took a look at me and said, “You have to be the most stoic patient I’ve ever had.” I think I managed a smile at this point.

Once the epidural kicked in, the contractions were history. I remembered thinking, “If I can’t feel my muscles, how the hell am I supposed to push?” Weird.

One of the machines I was hooked up to started beeping. It didn’t sound right. The nurse and doctor hurried into my room and a moment later they said that Das’ umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. This meant having him naturally was out of the question. They had to cut me open.

Torey and I gave the green light to do what they had to do to make sure Das was safe.

My only thought was, “Do whatever you have to in order to make sure my son is okay.”

With that said, they wheeled me to the OR. (As long as it wasn’t OR #8!! Robin Cook reference)

I’m sure they gave me some more drugs even though I don’t remember when they did. The following events occurred only once in a time frame of 10 to 15 seconds, however, they were on repeat in my head for what seemed like 15 minutes to me:

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

They placed me on the operating table.

The doctor came and said something on my left.

Someone shook my leg.

The nurse came and said something on my right.

I told myself I was officially going crazy … and then realized I was talking to myself. I literally calmed myself down (or maybe it was the drugs talking to me). I noticed a bright white light and thought to myself, “Wow… is this THE light? You know ……… THAT light!? Is this it for me? If it is, I hope Das makes it out okay… I’ll be happy if he’s okay…” In reality, this light was probably the BRIGHT light they had above the operating table! The funny thing is I never panicked. It’s amazing how your mind works sometimes.

As my thoughts were wandering, I heard a very familiar voice. It was Torey. He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to someone else. Someone new. Someone precious. Torey had the sweetest tone of voice – so much more tender and loving than I had ever heard. It was a new tone for me. It was beautiful. So beautiful that it made me open my eyes and made me turn my head to the left. And… there they sat, my two most favorite men on the planet: Mohandas Malcolm Mitchell and Torey Mekhale Mitchell. I smiled.

Das was born on 01.11.2004 at 11:14 am. He weighed: 6 pounds and 5 ounces, and was: 19 ¼ inches long.

The drugs had me knocked out for a long time, so I didn’t get to really see him until later that night.

I remember holding him in my arms that night … all alone … just me and him. My heart stopped the moment he opened his eyes to look up at me.

He has those beautiful almond-shaped eyes!

What a BLESSING!

TMitch and Das

 

Das and I love you and miss you, Torey …

I Ran Into This Today …

Some of you may be surprised by this but most probably not: Torey loved pop / alternative / rock music as much as he loved his hip-hop tunes. We were on our way back from celebrating Das’ birthday on 1.11.15 and Vance Joy’s Riptide was on the radio. The dude had fallen in love with this track way before this … and there were moments were he would literally get choked up and say how much he felt the song because it reminded him of how he felt about me.

I remember being truly floored by this and looked forward to see him enjoy this song. He’d get into his groove and sing his heart out – it was so special! I had Snapchat going (thankful for this corny mess!) – in the first link you can see him wiping away a tear in the ever most casual way – kinda pretending that didn’t happen! LOL! Entirely too sweet!

T-Mitch – Riptide #1

In the second link I kept filming him and was able to capture the smile and chuckle he had for me. My heart will never stop melting!

T-Mitch – Riptide #2

Here’s the whole song in case you’ve been living under a rock:

This was all after celebrating Das’ 11th birthday – we had treated him to breakfast at the Old Pancake House in Addison:

#11 Turned 11!

 

Good Riddance, 2019

This year has been a round-trip to Hades and I don’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

No, I’m not really looking forward to 2020 anymore – the only thing I’m honestly looking forward to is Das’ High School Baseball Season followed by the Summer Season – and this is on top of the pain knowing how much Torey yearned to do the same.

Next big monument is Das’ 16th birthday on 1.11 – he’s one amazing son!

So … with a T-Mitch shot in hand, I have a toast:

F*** 2019. That. Is. All. And… cheers to Das!

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The classic T-Mitch shot is basically a margarita in a shot glass:
Cien Anos Tequila + Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix