Das’ Senior Year Milestones

You’re right … it’s been a while since I posted anything. I’ve been kind of dreading this process to document the following milestones:

My son’s senior year of high school:

Yes, tears were shed before and during and even afterwards of all these moments.

I never imagined living through these major milestones without Torey. The Senior celebration day consisted of parent involvement. Moms were given roses while Dads were asked to throw the first pitch all together. Each family walked out on the field together while a track of our sons’ thoughts played on the speaker system. I was asked who I would like to choose to throw the first pitch in place of Torey. I said I’d do it – it was a total failure, but it garnered enough attention to have been placed on the last slide of the Baseball Banquet slide show! I was cracking up at myself, mortified for not throwing a straight ball towards Das. It went left and all he could do was shake his head! LOL!

Prom was an interesting lead up. I won’t go into detail because Das would kill me, but it went well! He’s a responsible young man and did not disappoint. We rented a tux and him and his date looked AMAZING! I even made a corsage and a boutonniere, but Das didn’t present any of this and instead chunked the flowers. Yes, Das – I put this out there. My efforts were NOT appreciated! LOL! I still love you though.

The Baseball Banquet was sweet – held at the Stonebriar Country Club in early May. The boys were all so well dressed, and everything was good! I still chuckle at the fact I was called out on the last slide! Thank you, Hebron High School Baseball Booster Club!

GRADUATION! Ummm … wow. So many people made the best effort to be there for such a monumental moment! Many thanks to all of them!

The ceremony took place at UNT – Tran was gracious enough to drive me there after flying in from Guadalajara. (I have a phobia of driving on highways – this has been going on for the last 7 years or so … this isn’t Torey’s loss related, but the loss exasperated the anxiety. THANK YOU, TRAN! The ceremony celebrated 881 graduates within two hours – it was pretty amazing!

The graduation party was held at ChopShop in Carrollton, and it was well received – everyone had a good time! To me the cake was the highlight even though the food and drinks were equally up to par!

Why am I mentioning all of this?

I felt T-Mitch’s energy in all of these moments. He was there to cheer his son on. He was. There were so many signs that I wish I had documented at the time. I’m just comforted to have been around loved ones – especially our people from Texarkana. You know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of our souls!

I have some lessons learned from these experiences:

  • Always have Kleenex on you
  • Be prepared for your son to give you the finger when he doesn’t want to be photographed (it’s okay – we raised him that way!)
  • Be prepared for girls who are named … well no I won’t finish this sentence now – you can DM me if you’re really interested
  • You’re stronger than you think
  • You can still celebrate while you’re grieving
  • Treasure the folks who showed up on a monumental occasion

I will admit – the most recent dreams I’ve had of T-Mitch have been confrontational. All of this time I thought I was feeling his thoughts, but after speaking to a therapist I realized I’m just channeling my own thoughts and blaming T-Mitch. He always told me to move on if we ever broke up or if one of us passes away – it’s not him speaking to me any longer. It’s me.

I need to speak to myself on TOREY’s level. Writing this has been therapeutic. I don’t expect anyone to truly understand.

If you took the time to read this, then thank you!

It’s a process.


Nita’s Statue of Liberty

Around 10 years ago, Torey, Das and I went on a spring break trip to San Antonio. Torey’s Uncle and his family who live in San Antonio invited us to hang out and celebrate his Uncle’s 45th birthday. This trip was so EPIC!

Facebook reminded me of this moment a few days ago and the pictures were amazing – not trying to share here, but what I will share is one of Torey’s favorite moments he liked to verbally share / story tell when we hung around with our folks:

It’s called the “Nita’s Statue of Liberty”:

We were at his Uncle’s house one evening with super close friends and Das – access to an incredible hilltop view along with a pool and a heart shaped jacuzzi.

Adult beverages were already consumed, and it took us a bit to figure out the jacuzzi and once we got it going, we all hopped in. Not sure if you understand the role of the warm water when you’re already intoxicated: it speeds up the drunkenness incredibly quickly!

At some point I found myself alone in the jacuzzi while everyone else decided to go get refills (T-Mitch was the bartender and was about to get me a refill, too). The music was bumpin’ and I realized I needed a break from the warm water so I attempted to take a step out, lost my balance, and ended up falling into the deeper part of the jacuzzi – this meant losing my glasses and my head in the water.

Guess what part of this story LOVED telling the most!? This:

The whole time this was happening, I saved my drink – I held it up high so it wouldn’t spill into the water while my body was completely under water: hence the Nita’s Statue of Liberty.

SMH! This was a story he loved to tell anyone who hadn’t heard it before accompanied with a roar of laughter!

Yes, I saved my drink. Yes, I was under water until I recovered my glasses. Yes, I stumbled out of there.

Torey made sure I made it to bed all safe and sound and loved to tease me about it starting from the next morning and onwards! (Das still carries this tradition and I can’t blame him!).

Life isn’t the same and I have to stop dwelling on this – grief is a rough journey. Some days are better than the others, but they’re never great. They’re never truly happy or satisfying. All I look forward to now is Das’ life and his own journey – I truly hope he gets to witness the bliss of true love like Torey and I did!

This was taken at Sea World in San Antonio on 3.18.2012 – we all left here with the feeling of NOT liking zoo environments. It’s not fair for any animal to be held captive in an environment that’s not natural unless they’re pets who are loved and cared for. We never went back – but truly a very memorable trip!



It’s been a minute, right? Sorry – I haven’t been doing a good job in documenting my moments as a damn widow. My bad. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed, but I won’t get into those details. I would, however, like to get into a certain aspect of the grief process and that is [insert drumroll in your mind while you’re reading this]: dealing with entertainment.

I may have stated this already – whether here on the blog or social media, but there’s certain types of music / shows / movies / etc. that I’m still not able to go near to enjoy like I used to with T-Mitch. In fact, my whole existence with him is starting to feel like it was a lifetime ago – almost like a fairy tale. That can’t be right. I don’t like that feeling at ALL. Honestly, it’s a hard f***ing pill to swallow.

I remember watching or listening to something with him and having discussions about our interpretations that would last for DAYS! DAYS that went on to weeks – we’d have light bulb moments and reach out to one another on a random and share and each of us would know EXACTLY what we were referring to. I miss that shit!

There are some shows / movies / music I haven’t gone back to since he passed away OR I have been able to tolerate very little of. It would take forever plus more to even share a list! (Trust me I tried to put one together).

I’m not a fan of this reality, but Das and I are makin’ it.

This was taken on my 35th birthday celebration at Fujiyama
His Paula Deen impression! LOL!


Merry COVID Holidays!

I hope your Holidays have been better than ours! Das started feeling sick on 12.22.2021 and ran a fever on 12.23 – he got tested for COVID on 12.24 and was confirmed positive on 12.25. Yup, our lovely Christmas gift! Thankfully, his symptoms weren’t too bad – I ended up feeling bad on 12.24 and got tested on 12.26 and the results were negative.

(Many thanks to KW for bringing me the at-home-tests!!)

Das’ symptoms were a headache, body aches, fatigue, fever, congestion and a dry cough. My symptoms were the same, but add a horrible sore throat that made me lose my voice for almost a whole day. Not horrible, but uncomfortable to say the least!

Our plans were to visit family – I had a friend bake a homemade apple pie from scratch along with some banana pudding. This would have been SO well received because she’s AMAZING!! (Trying to encourage her to open her own catering business!) – of course I had a few bottles of Tito’s in tow for the celebrations.

This all will have to wait until next time I suppose. I’m just thankful my symptoms haven’t been as bad as the first time I had it – to tell you the truth this is the first time out of 13 times Das tested positive since quarantine started! I have to wonder if watching the new Spider-Man movie in the theater did us in last weekend.

All I have to say is, mask up and be careful when you hang out! This virus is spreading fast and if you’re at a super-spreader event, then buckle up (whether you’re vaccinated or not!).

I did have some crazy fever dreams that I thought I’d share, so here it goes:

Fever Dream #1:

Torey was working on a recycling pick up and it was well into the evening so it was dark. I guess because of COVID, he wasn’t picking up the usual recyclables and had a bunch of antiques in the bed of the truck. I was there to help and noticed neither of the license plates were on the truck – both of the front and the back were missing!

I mentioned this to Torey and he just shrugged it off and kept loading the truck. I found myself desperately looking for the plates because I didn’t want him to get into trouble. He kept telling me not to worry about it and I got annoyed and explained my worry.

“I don’t need them for where I’m going, ‘Nita…”


The end.

Fever Dream #2:

There was a militia of Trumper parents who were patrolling a neighborhood at night in the attempt of shooting any minority teenagers every night. They weren’t highly organized and I quickly learned about another group of parents who were on a mission to protect the teens.

Yup, I joined the band of self-armed minority parents, which happened to include many white people, too, so that was pretty cool.

Guns were fired, we used camouflage blankets to hide, used hand signals to warn others – a true movie scene!

The end.

Fever Dream #3:

Das was getting ready to go to school one morning and my parents were with us. We were at the dining table and they said that I needed to go to school with him and I asked why.

“Anu, you should know why by now!” my Mom exclaimed.

“I have no clue what you’re talking about, Momma.”

“Well you’ve been missing your first period and we don’t think you’ll graduate – have you checked your grades lately!?”

“Wait, what?” I asked and looked at Das as he shrugged.

“No, you need to go and make sure you talk to your counselor…”

The whole time they were talking to me I was wondering if anything they were saying was real! It felt so real and then I thought, “OMG! I gotta get ready! I’m already late for first period!”

The end.

I woke up in a daze and well – fever dreams are pretty trippy! These were just a few I remember – I had more while I was breaking my fever. Madness!


Phone Call With T-Mitch

I’ve been meaning to post this, but haven’t had the chance to sit down and write. For reference, just know that I had a full day of work with my co-workers in a setting where we were all together in one room for a work retreat. After the retreat we had our office Holiday Party and it was a blast! This happened last Friday (12.10.2021).

Here goes my dream:

I was in the conference room and we were discussing thinking about “out of the box” ideas and a said individual (aka *) suggested we call Torey. I was like, “We can do that!?” and was told we could so I took over the phone, dialed his number and he answered!

Torey: “Hello?”

* : “Hi Torey! I’m here with Anita and the rest of our team and we’re discussing on ways to think outside of the box. Do you have any suggestions!?”

Me: WTF!? We actually have TOREY on the phone!? I was incredibly excited/confused/but overwhelmed with JOY!

Torey: “Yeah sure – just think about being different from the industry standards and UP-lifting.”

* : “Thank you, Torey! I think Anita may want to talk to you alone so we’re going to transfer your call to another room so you both can talk.”


I get to the other room, shut the door and:

Me: “Torey, how ARE you!?”

Torey: “I’m good – chillin’

I started to pay attention to the background noises and it sounded like he was in an episode of The Jetsons – like “space noises!”

Me: “Where are you!?”

Torey: “I’m not sure actually – not sure what to call this place, but I’m good! Been chillin'”

Me: “So can I keep calling you here? I love being able to talk to you after so long!”

Torey: “I don’t think that’s a good idea, ‘Nita.”

Me: “Why the fuck not!??”

Torey: “It’s not good for you – I mean I love talking to you, but you gotta let me go. You really need to move on.”

I was truly heart broken, but understood what he was trying to say. And then I woke up in tears.

That is all.


* Co-Worker

Ballroom Dancing!?

Last night was yet another restless one… plenty of tossing and turning, waking up at least once every other hour… my mind just wouldn’t SHUT UP! I woke up so many times expecting to see a form of Torey – this may sound ridiculous, but it’s a thing. I can just feel him sometimes – call it madness or maybe it’s a true paranormal sense. I don’t really know nor am I here to argue either side of this sentiment.

All I know is when I did fall asleep in the early hours of the morning, I dreamt a funny one. Well, funny to ME anyway! Here it goes:

I was at the old Blue Mesa joint over there by Northpark Mall that got shut down a few years ago. I was upstairs – they had more TVs than I had remembered. Torey and I used to hang out there during our early to mid twenties from time to time. I’m not sure why it popped up in my dream, but it did.

I got a text from him saying he’s on his way to come see me. I was pleasantly surprised and asked how long it would be.

“Babs, I’m kinda on this bus, but I’ll be there soon.”

I showed everyone around me his response and realized in my excitement I didn’t really know any of the people around me! LOL! I didn’t care. I couldn’t wait to see him.

“‘Nita, guess what? Before I get there I want you to know that I’ve been taking ballroom dance lessons!”

“WTF!?” I responded in disbelief. We had talked about doing that together at some point after catching a few episodes of Dancing With the Stars a long ass time ago. (I think when Emmitt Smith was on the show!)

“Color me impressed,” I added, wondering what else he’s been into since he’s been gone.

“Yeah, we’re supposed to be performing on this show that’s about to be televised. Are you near a TV?”

I immediately looked around and that’s when I noticed all of the extra TVs around the restaurant.

“Yes! I’ll be able to see you, Babe!!”

“Good! I’ll see you soon, too!”

REALITY hit in the worst way. My phone went off, waking me up.

Dream incomplete.

Frustration overwhelmed me as I cringed.

And then … a smile appeared on my face: fucking ballroom dancing!?

LMAO! Love it!!!

This song is a classic one. This moment was epic. I should have recorded the whole thing! He asked my Cousins to set up a Henna/Mehndi day for me and they did (Thank you, ‘Dhisha & Snay!)


The Wire | Michael K. Williams | RIP

Torey and I used to have our “own” shows and “us” shows. He had started watching The Wire back in maybe 2008 or 2009 (maybe even earlier, I can’t put my finger on it) – and it was one of those shows where I drifted in and out of (unlike The Sopranos).

I definitely remember the character of Omar played by Michael K. Williams. What an amaaaaaaaaaazing performance! Not to mention our love for the show, Boardwalk Empire! And most recently which Torey would have LOVED, Lovecraft Country. Cherry on top for me was his part in Assassin’s Creed (a guilty pleasure to say the least!).

Yes, I found myself shedding tears for him several times today. I’m not sure what exactly what his demise was, but it was too soon, too sudden – and that pain is just not tolerable.

I just have to share a memory in reference to The Wire:

I remember watching the first few episodes with T-Mitch and understood Omar's character - and then came Stringer Bell played by Idris Elba. Say no more, right?!

One night we were talking about one of the episodes and I referred to Elba's character as "Slider". (Oops).
Torey: "Wait a minute ... his name is 'Stringer'... why you callin' him 'Slider'. Was this a Freudian slip!????"

Me: "Ummmm ... I'm sure he slides in pretty smoothly, yo. Just sayin'!"

It was all laughter and giggles and we shared that joke for years to come! LOL! 
Cast from Boardwalk Empire: Erik LaRay Harvey (L), Jeffrey Wright (C) and Michael K. Williams (R)

Seriously though … another young soul died tooooooo soon. RIP, Michael K. Williams – condolences to your family and friends, you Talented Man.



Just wanted to share the moment with you … so many loved ones who have passed away are in this footage as well. This was a happy day for us all and always makes me smile!

My Prem Chinanna (uncle) played an electric guitar of an Indian medley as I walked down the isle … it’s one of my favorite moments!! Thank you, Chinanna!

Many thanks to everyone who helped make our wedding day a special one!

Much love and enjoy!

Torey Mitchell | Belligerent Gus Blog
Click the image to listen to what our dance song was …