Birthday Reflection

Yes, today is my 44th birthday … and I must say this was one of the toughest years of our lives. Yes, OUR lives … I believe all of us had more than enough struggle besides just dealing with COVID. I’m not just talking about just loss and grief but everything else that comes along: there’s depression, disappointment, financial tolls, pay cuts, lay offs / unemployment and so much more. Sure we can all point fingers and blame it on politics and the pandemic. It’s not that simple though…

I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of why this past year was SO bad. I’m trying to allow myself to focus on the positives. I thought about listing 20 things I feel good about this past year, but my inner voice said, “Are you kidding me!? That’s a bit ambitious, bitch!”

Point taken, damn! Anyway, here’s an attempt of 10 positives:

  1. Das is a champion in more ways than one. He’s able to express himself in such an amazing way – reminds me a lot of T-Mitch. Through his expression he was able to make some serious strides in his own personal anguish. I’m incredibly proud of him and will continue to support him the best way I can.
  2. Cooking for two instead of three has been an interesting learning experience. Torey used to kill leftovers and I’d help, too – Das was never a fan of leftovers so we’d end up wasting food. I’ve cut down on our cooking portions by half and I freeze leftovers so that I can pull them out of the freezer a week or two later to reheat. Not a lot of food gets wasted this way.
  3. There’s one particular Widow-Grief group that sets itself apart than the others and I am incredibly thankful for this! They literally provide the right type of support – with dark humor and all, which I absolutely love!
  4. Since my workplace is remote now, I’ve been able to save a ton of money on transportation costs – I didn’t like being work-from-home at first during the beginning of quarantine. After the first two to three weeks, I got used to it and I totally appreciate it so much right now!
  5. I made friends with a lot of folks who knew T-Mitch at different bars around town … to hear their memories of him has been comforting!
  6. So many people have offered their help and support – and they continue to do so. I’m so thankful and grateful for them!
  7. I went straight from my parents’ home to living with T-Mitch back in ’95. Now I’m on the journey of embracing adulthood on my own and under my own roof. I’m not really sure what this entails but I’m trying to learn and embrace this new journey.
  8. Learning to depend on family. This is new – something I’ve always been against. Why? Because Torey and I have always taken pride to accomplish milestones on our own, together. Now … I don’t have him and I need help. My parents, brother, family and friends have been incredible. Thank you all SO much!
  9. Learning to listen to music and watch certain entertainment without T-Mitch has been a f****ing challenge. I’m getting better. I have to accept it at some point – it’s been super hard though!
  10. I thought about the 10th reason for the past three freakin’ days…. I can’t seem to come up with one! I’ll leave this one open and come back to it later. Or not. *shrug*

Thank you for listening.


Das and I laid these flowers for Torey – he loved Tulips!

The Innkeeper

One of my fondest childhood memories was when I was in 3rd grade/class in India – at Stanley Girls High School. Don’t let the “high school” part of the name of the place throw you off … I can’t really explain so I included a wiki link! My parents had decided to take my brother and I to India to stay there while they worked and my Dad finished med school in the Caribbean. Yes, we were away from my parents for a good three years… a lot of pros and cons, but more pros than cons. I think.

Our school did a nativity play in December and I landed the Inn Keeper role. I remember during rehearsals the teachers/directors were not happy with my performance. Their biggest issue was my accent. I didn’t sound Desi/Indian enough. I was seriously confused and kept telling them I wasn’t speaking a foreign language – we all spoke English and the play was in English! WTH!?

I had the butterflies the night of the play. I got into my costume and kept replaying how the teachers wanted me to speak. In my first thespian moment I decided to take the direction I was given and delivered my lines in the Indian accent. They were so happy and pleased with me! LOL! I couldn’t believe that something that minor made such an impact to their production, but I get it now.

They just wanted me to “blend in” I suppose… or they didn’t want the fact that my “foreign American ass” was going to steal the show from the actual production by being the odd-ball.

I don’t know … I just remember sharing this with T-Mitch and he used to love listening to me tell this story each time. “’Nita, tell me how you said your line.”

Me in the thickest Indian accent: “Sorry, there’s no room in the inn…” with the Indian head nod and all.

That is all.

On another note – apparently the Innkeeper wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. I haven’t fact checked this, yet, but I thought this was the case. Yay or nay??

Torey Mitchell | Belligerent Gus Blog

Not Ready

Note: This post is NOT meant to upset anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s just a log to keep track of my grief journey … I posted this in one of my grief groups:

No one wants to really hear about your struggle with grief unless they’ve been through something similar as you… and even then you don’t feel like bringing it up because you don’t want to get them down in their own struggle. It’s not an easy thing to deal with. It’s a constant struggle. Many people want the best for you and have the best intentions, but there really isn’t a time frame to set on whether or not you’re ready to move on. People will pin-point this and say they’re worried about you for NOT moving on.

They’ll compare it to their own experiences with divorce/break-ups while acknowledging it’s NOT the same thing. They have good intentions. I get it, but … people just need to stop with this sentiment.

Yes, I know I’m still in my 40s – relatively young enough to pursue a relationship. I’m not ready.

Yes, I do want to feel happy again as opposed to being sad every fucking day and crying at the whim. I’m not ready.

Yes, I want my son to see me happy and I want him to be happy. We’re not ready.

It’s just really hard and people just need to leave people like us alone in reference to encouragement in this sense.

Instead they should say, “I’m here for you and am open to listening to what’s going on with you.”

I’ve been talking to people in my grief groups about this – along with a few counselors. ….and you can’t rush getting over grief. You cannot rush anyone into “moving on” … it’s a fact and it is what it is.

Truth be told: I met the love of my life at 18 … been with him ever since. T-Mitch is all I know! My first EVERYTHING! I’ve never been in the dating field as an adult and based on other people’s experiences (similar to mine) I’m not sure I WANT to. I’m going to take this as a challenge when I’m ready to. That. Is. All.


“Keep yo’ hands outta my pockets, woman!”

One of the things I miss any time I do laundry is reminding Torey to empty his pockets out before putting his pants/shorts/jeans in the laundry bin. He’d always forget and things like mints, lighters and money would end up in the load if I didn’t check. He’d forget and one time I took it upon myself to remind him, but not hold him to it.

For a good six month period I’d stash away any amount of money or change I’d find in his pockets in an effort to save for a special occasion to surprise him with. He had wanted to celebrate his birthday at the clubby club (if you know us then you know what this means!) and he made it a point to get some cash and we went. Of course, I brought the stash I had been saving up from my laundry findings – I think it was around $70 or $80 bucks!

During our time there I pulled my little wad of money out and he was like, “Wait, you brought cash, too!? You didn’t have to! I took care of that!”

“Torey, hun … this is the money I found in YO’ pockets, dude! I’ve been telling you to empty your pockets before we do laundry and here’s my point, homie! Finders keepers!! And in this case the losers won’t be weeeepers!”

He cracked the f*** up! It was greatness! We had a ton of fun…

He made it a point to empty his pockets after this moment! LOL! “Keep yo’ hands outta my pockets, woman!”