So Our 20th Came and Went

Yet another “first” under my belt – a wedding anniversary without my T-Mitch – our 20th one at that. As you can imagine it wasn’t easy. Just anticipating the date two months ago made my stomach knot up and the closer the date came, the more anxiety came with it. The anniversary fell on a Wednesday and thankfully I was able to take the day off. I thought I’d be able to handle it since I’ve been working from home, but no … mentally I just couldn’t focus on anything since the Sunday before. (Thank you so much to my work Team for understanding!)

Starting Sunday night, I noticed I was regressing in my level of dealing with grief. I got back into the pattern of falling asleep on the couch and waking up at odd hours to find my way back to my bed. Yes, alcohol was involved, and I will admit it. This was the norm between the month he passed to about the end of spring of this year. I thought I got past it, but I suppose the anniversary was a trigger for my regression.

Did I look back on our actual wedding day much? Actually, no. I didn’t. I found myself reliving so many celebrations we had together instead. Spending time together is something we looked forward to on most days (unless we were fighting, but that’s normal!). Sure, our anniversary was special to us like most couples and on milestones like this we always found ourselves talking about how we met and how we felt at the time. It was always so nice to be able to relive those moments with him! He claimed I was “flossin’” when he saw me driving for the first time – LOL! Whatever, Torey!

The week prior to the anniversary the maintenance team at our apartment complex was getting the apartment above us ready for new tenants. They replaced their carpet and who knows what else – in the process of cleaning I guess they sprayed for bugs. I was “graced” by the presence of three GIGANTIC roaches and I haven’t been the same since. Thankfully, Das came to my rescue, but I did have to battle with one – running around with my broom and swatting at it to no success! Later, I found one in my closet and lost my mind! I had Das go duke it out with it and listening to him yelling at the bug was insanely hilarious and I wish I had recorded it!

Sorry, had to share all of this because it’s an effort to point out that I have been extremely jumpy for almost two weeks now! Anxiety on top of worrying about seeing another one of these monsters has been entirely too much! Before I enter any room, I run a surveillance by looking at every wall and corner of each room. Of course, I had them come spray our apartment, too, and I haven’t seen one since over a week or so (thank GOODNESS!). I was making breakfast one morning and I almost jumped out of my skin when the toaster was done! Yeah, I need to calm the f* down, I get it.

I could hear Torey laughing at me, “’Nita, you’re bigger than those damn roaches! They’re more afraid of you then you are of them! Just kill those damn things!” Yeah, yeah …. I knooowwww, but still. I’d rather not go anywhere near one – especially ones that are HUGE and can FLY. NO THANKS and yes, one did fly at Das while he was trying to kill it.

On another note, you may be wondering how we celebrated the special day. Some of you already know the thoughtful gift Das gave me! He went to Build-a-Bear and made a teddy bear with Torey’s voicemail recorded in its paw along with a heartbeat… yes, I bawled my eyes out when he gave it to me. At first, I thought the BAB on the paw and football it came with was supposed to be a reflection on one of the nicknames Torey called me: Babbs. A few days later I realized it was the Build-a-Bear acronym! LOL! That made much more sense because I thought they didn’t have room to add the rest of the letters in the nickname. Silly me.

On Tuesday I hit up one of Torey’s favorite bartenders of all time (location and name will remain undisclosed for privacy) and man…. She took care of me. I lost track of the name of each drink/shot she poured me. I remember the first one called “Oil Spill” … you can see for yourself:

On Wednesday afternoon we picked up a bouquet of flowers (the closest colors I could get to our wedding flowers) and we went to the parking lot to mark his last breath:

On Wednesday evening Das and I went to Pappadeauxs and had a nice, quiet dinner:

I appreciated all of the well wishes although I didn’t talk to most people that day. I think what I like the most from people is when they share their own moments they had with Torey. I wish people would do this more often because I know Torey is not forgotten. He’s alive in our hearts and the memories are worth sharing no matter what anyone says.

One of our friends, Eliza, sent me this screenshot today:

What’s funny is Eliza was a vegetarian at the time and was craving some wings and Torey is just going along encouraging her to eat chicken again! LOL! Typical of Torey – something my Dad would do, too!

A few days ago, my Mom emailed a dream she had on our Anniversary last week (edited):

He ran into the house with a huge smile on his face. He looked well rested with a clean shaved gundu [bald head] and a well-groomed face. His face was glowing. I gave him a hug and told him I was surprised to see him because I was. It was all so, so real. There were a lot of people and Das was there also. Torey was busy talking to everyone. Suddenly, I saw a baby, and someone asked me to bring holy water to bless the baby. Then it was time for Torey to leave. He came to me and said his bye to me. I was telling him to stay in touch. He promised he would, and the dream ended.

I am not sure if he came to reassure me because i was going through a rough time or he came to bid goodbye. I just wanted to share with you. Hard to believe he is not with us. Love to you and Dasulu. Please take good care of yourselves. God Bless you all, Momma

This was so sweet for my Mom to share with me and I found myself feeling comforted by this. For me I think the baby signifies a new beginning: a life without him and he came to reassure my Mom to say that he’s okay. Over the years my family got pretty close to Torey and it’s super sweet she was able to share this dream with me.

So if you have something to share in reference to Torey, whether it’s a memory/dream/image/thoughts, feel free to let us know… it only helps our hearts heal little by little.

We were treated by a short visit from our family in San Antonio on Friday evening and it was so sweet to see their smiles in person again! These kids are growing up too fast!

Ashley and Wesley with Das! 8.28.2020

I know T-Mitch is all smiles right now … thank you all for your love and support.

#missyouTMitch #RIPChadwickBoseman (I know in my heart they’ve either met already or will soon … both gone too soon)

Torey’s Intuition … and then some

Torey knew I was pregnant before I knew. He noticed I had thrown up three mornings in a row for no apparent reason… he said he noticed a few things physically about me (not listing details!). One morning while I was still asleep, he walked to the nearest store (we didn’t have a car at the time) and bought a pregnancy test.

He was sitting next to me after I woke up that morning, gazing at me ever so sweetly. I asked if something was wrong and he shook his head, “No.”

“I need you to take this for me,” he said as he handed me the opened pregnancy test.

“Wait… what!?” was my reaction, “Dude, you’re trippin!”

“’Nita, no … somethin’s not the same with you, please just go and see,” he said as he nudged me to the bathroom.

I went and I dreaded the outcome because I just wasn’t ready to handle any kind of news. I did my thing, stared at the test swab for what seemed like 10 minutes … and then there it was.

Torey was standing right outside of the door the whole time:

“’Nita … all good? What’s happening? Are you okay?”

I was in shock and all I could do was open the door with the swab still in my hand. He looked into my eyes with curiosity for a second and immediately took the swab from me … stared at it for a few seconds and hugged me.

Torey was beyond happy with the result! I was baffled because we were so broke at the time – I wasn’t sure how we’d manage this new addition in our lives! He was simply ECSTATIC! We laughed and hugged each other a thousand times that day. It’s … a sweet moment for me and one I will never forget.

By the time everything was official with the doctor I was actually 2 months pregnant when I took the at-home pregnancy test. Torey took such good care of me – he made sure every craving was met. I was on some NY Strip steaks with steamed broccoli, Indian dish (rice with yogurt and mango pickle), more Indian food, lasagna, pepperoni pizza with jalapenos, and not much sweets. Das made me crave salty food and surprisingly he likes all of the above except for yogurt, mango pickle and jalapenos – even though he LOVES spicy food! Go figure.

It’s hard to navigate my days without Torey – I miss being able to talk to him and to hear his opinions. This is so f***ing difficult! I’m losing it because Das is about to start his Junior year of high school tomorrow – I’m supposed to do this with Torey! Not alone! He was looking forward to these moments and I know he’s still a part of this, but it would be so much greater to just have him here.

This shit isn’t fair. Life is NOT FAIR. I don’t use the word “hate” lightly, but yes, I will use it now: I HATE this situation to the core. I want to fault the stars, the universe, the gods, and everything anyone considers to be in control of any of this. F*** it. F*** this.

I want him back – I had a dream where he DID come back. And … he wasn’t happy. I was. He wasn’t. He was upset because he had lost so much time to handle business deals and to handle his portion of our income. He was SO MAD! I just had to console him and tell him everything will be okay

In reality the man used to work even while he slept. I know. I was there. I could hear him talk out loud while he was sleeping/dreaming. There where times I used to wake him up and say, “Torey, honey … you gotta rest! Business can wait until tomorrow ….” He’d roll over and say, “Okay, Babe … I’m sorry.”

The wheels in his mind never stopped … He was restless, but he meant WELL. Das and I will always love him.

Miss you, T-Mitch…

Das’ first beach encounter way back when in 2005

On another note … I heard this song not too long ago and related… maybe you know her, too, and can tell me more?


I don’t think I’ll ever get over the sadness and this emptiness in my heart. Some days are okay while others are overwhelming. No, I don’t always answer my phone, nor do I return text messages. I try to find an escape and end up watching new shows or movies, but struggle to pay attention.

Crying myself to sleep has been the norm and that’s when I talk to Torey the most. I know he doesn’t want me to be sad, but it’s not possible for me to NOT feel this way. He was my best friend, my soul mate, my lover and life partner. I was not supposed to out-live him. I wasn’t. I was always convinced of this because he would have been much stronger and would have survived the loss much better than the way I’m dealing with it.

I always imagined Torey moving on after my passing as an older gentleman – gray facial hair but his smooth brown skin would have still turned heads. His smile and the twinkle in his eyes – yes, he would have still been a big old flirt! He always was and I knew in my heart that he would find another woman to grow older with. I wanted that for him. I really did. I would have been happy knowing he wasn’t spending the rest of his days alone and positive he would have picked someone Das would have grown to love as well.

I used to tell him all the time that in the event I died the only restriction he had in moving on to another woman is that she couldn’t be Indian. LOL! I didn’t want him with another desi chick because well … I’m just selfish like that! He’d joke and assure me by saying, “Don’t worry, babe, she’ll be South American or Middle Eastern…”

I miss laughing with him and he loved it when I made him laugh. “’Nita, people don’t really know how funny you are! I love you, Babbs!” I spend hours looking at every picture I can find of him, every video bit he’s on … just to hear him again. His laughter. His tone … his presence. I miss all of these things and I know I’m not the only one.

August 26th is around the corner. It marks our 20th Wedding Anniversary. October marks our 25 years of being together. And then … November 20th will mark one year of him being gone. Yes, these milestones are doing a number on me. Emotions are coming in their own waves; some are much stronger than the others. I choke up during the most unexpected of times …

We had planned on going to New Orleans to celebrate these milestones. I had a special surprise planned for him. So many things are off the table now … no more. No more happiness the way Das and I knew it. It’s different.

Das is doing as well as he can right now. We keep communicating and I hesitate disciplining him from time to time, but we talk…. and we keep it real. I think that’s the right thing to do …

Who’s down for a zoom call on our 20th anniversary!? I think that might be the best way to deal with it after talking to Gib tonight. He’s Torey’s best friend since they were in diapers. I may go that route…

Miss you, T-Mitch.

Torey Mitchell | Belligerent Gus
A little blurry, but that’s okay … it was all love!

Just Be…

You were the reason to breath

You were the reason to be

To be happy

Just be…

You were here for our truth

And down for our youth

Just be…

You never let us down

Nor frown

Or messed around

Just be…

You wanted more

You earned for more

You deserved MORE

Just be…

You should be here

You should be near

You’re Dear

To us

To many

And I wish we could Just BE