“Under the Bridge”

Torey and I are children of the 90s and Red Hot Chili Peppers were/are one of our favorite bands. Even though we weren’t drug addicts, we really appreciated their “Under the Bridge” song … we would sing our hearts out together while listening to this tune almost every time!

We loved it so much that it eventually became one of Das’ lullabies when he was born. The tune would immediately calm Das down and it was amazing to witness this!

Torey had moved to San Antonio back when Das was around three years old. Both of us were working full time and Torey had started to take Realtor classes on the weekends. One afternoon our plan was to meet at Chacho’s (if you know us then you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!) after his class was over to drink some ‘ritas and eat some Tex-Mex.

I woke Das up from his nap on that summer afternoon, got him ready, and placed him in his car seat in my two door Honda Civic. I had turned the car on from the passenger side, along with the radio and started the air conditioner on full blast.

I shut the passenger side door and walked over to the driver’s side to hop in and take off. The door was locked. Yes, locked. How? I don’t even know! I walked back over to the passenger side and that door was locked. I looked at every window to see if one was cracked to push the window down to get the door unlocked. Nope. I must have accidentally hit the “lock” key in the process of doing whatever I did on the passenger side… (smh!).

Panic set in. We were living with Torey’s Uncle Dave at the time so I had to wake him up for his nap (I felt awful about this, but I needed to be able to get to Das!). Since a running vehicle with a child inside was happening the fire department was called for safety’s sake.

Throughout all of this, Das was CHILLIN’! I leaned over to talk to him through the window – and he was swinging his head from side to side. Why? “Under the Bridge” was playing on the radio! That broke my panic-mode!

Torey wasn’t upset with me – in fact he was so proud of Das for being as chill as he was! The firefighters were really cool and let Das check out the firetruck. They called a pop-a-lock guy and Das was fine once they were able to unlock the car. Soon, we were all on our way to Chacho’s!

I honestly thought about breaking the driver’s side window, but didn’t because I was afraid of the glass hurting Das. I was thankful the AC was on during that hot Texas afternoon! I would have lost it otherwise!

Torey was chill about it – such a cool dude, man. No one will ever compare. No. One.

For all of you, Newbie Parents or soon-to-be parents – you can’t beat yourself up when moments like this happen. We’re all going to make mistakes as parents and that’s just keepin’ it real. I was pretty hard on myself that day, but luckily my husband was with me afterwards and he was able to talk to me to not just calm me down, but he helped me realize that we’re not perfect. “You can’t be perfect all of the time, Babs!”

You’re right, Babe. You’re absolutely right. #missyoutmitch

NFL 2020: Season Opening

So the NFL season has started … a moment in time Torey ALWAYS looked forward to: his predictions, shoulda’s, should-nots (mainly for the Dallas Cowboys, of course!) and SO MUCH MORE!

I know he woulda loved watched the season opener with the Chiefs vs. Texans. Although our son, Das, was born in Houston – he woulda rooted for the Chiefs because of Mahomes (much respect!). Torey watching TOM BRADY LOSE!!!!??? PRICELESS!! Sorry, but NOT sorry!

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys are a disappointment and he woulda had PLENTY to share. Das and I watched the first Cowboys game together this season. No, it wasn’t epic on the team record sense, but it was on other fronts. New traditions. Thankful for so much. Still missing T-Mitch, yo!

Here are some quotes from Torey’s social media from years ago:

Torey Mitchell updated his status:

The play calling down the stretch was horrendous, and Red J’s team is still not clutch! Today’s choke list includes: #TonyRomo #TravisFrederick #MorrisClaiborne #DezBryant #LanceDunbar #Billcallahan Come on you guys!!!!!!!
Sep 15, 2013

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes!!!! #itstoosloppyredj
Sep 15, 2013

Bill Callahan will you please just throw Dez the damn ball!!!!!!!!!!!!! #whatthehell
Sep 15, 2013

That’s just a tid-bit … there’s SO much more and I’ll share when I can.

As for Das – he’s coming along like I am … we have our challenges, but we’re trying to make the most of life. Baseball is and always will be his/our love.

For me, I have figured out a way to earn some extra income on top of my full time job. I need the income to help make up for Torey’s. Many thanks to a special friend for the referral!

Das and I are: “okay…”

This was taken at J. Roby’s wedding a few years back.

Rambling Part I

I’m not even sure where to start. I thought I had it in me to write a poem about my feelings, but I don’t. I tried. Several times.

I suppose I just want to share the fact that there are random moments of some serious grief. It hits like a damn wrecking ball.

I always find myself asking, “Why the f*** did this even have to happen!?”

Tears are inevitable on a daily basis.

Moving on is something that’s just not possible right now.

I appreciate the love from family and friends – their concern is something I find comforting.

I’m sorry for not returning calls. I’d rather text/IM/email. Or ZOOM! haha! stark difference in preferences, right!?

I wish reality wasn’t the way it is … it’s just not fair and I can’t stand it.

I try to think about moving on and try to take a step into another direction but it’s just not in me.

I had a solo-trip planned to New Orleans next month (in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary as we had planned) – but I canceled it. I’m not ready. Too emotional and what’s the point of going when I know I’ll be more depressed than ever?

Plus … there’s CORONA-19 and I’ve been reading up on traveling with the pandemic and it just doesn’t make any sense to pursue the trip.

I really want to go to LA in December and spread some of T-Mitch’s ashes in the Pacific (as he wished), but it really depends on how this pandemic plays out the next few months. Plus Das’ baseball schedule – so far the schedule isn’t an issue so I guess we’ll see.

I miss him. Das misses him. You miss him. He was such a bright light. Like … you’ll never run into someone like him ever again. He was one of a kind – you can’t really compare him to just anyone.

Torey Mitchell | Belligerent Gus Blog
Photobombed by Das! haha!

Rest in Love, T-Mitch. Rest in Peace. Rest in Power. You are an amazing soul. Forever will you always be my one true love. Always. And as usual … I can hear you saying or texting, “Ditto, my love.”

‘Dem Dreams Tho

So some of us rely on dreams or other “encounters” to be able to relate to what’s going on. I have pretty vivid dreams sometimes and I had the following dreams within the past couple of days…

Chillin’

Torey and I were chillin’ in the living room, watching TV. We were on the couch together, but nowhere near each other. Intrigued by a new series, we decided to give it a go and during the middle of the second or third episode Das came home. It was a late night, but nothing out of the ordinary – well other than the fact that neither Torey or Das acknowledged each other. I think this was inspired by watching The Sixth Sense with Das recently (just sayin!).

I felt a bit confused, but went along with watching TV.

Das had decided to check out what we were watching with us, and he fell in love with the series as well. A few minutes later he decided he was going to watch the rest of the episode in his room and this was fine by us.

Once Das started the episode in his room – from his room – it was just too loud! LOL! On top of that, he was watching the same episode and his sound was literally 5 seconds behind our feed.

Torey didn’t even say anything to me. He just looked at me with that, “You-better-handle-this-shit-right-now” look. I acknowledged and ended up walking down a long ass hallway to Das’ room (in reality we don’t have that hallway!).

I opened Das’ door and found him on his bed … he was younger – 11 or 12 again! I stood there in a bit of a shock, but gathered myself and asked him to turn his TV down.

“Aw man! Okay, Mom…” he responded as he rolled his eyes at me.

I went back to take my place back on the couch in the living room.

The room was empty.

My heart sank.

Witchery?

So this dream … it’s pretty weird. All I know is when I woke up, I was drenched in sweat. I don’t know how long this actually lasted, but based on the sweat I imagine it was a WHILE. I don’t know if I had this dream because I have been listening to people in support groups who have been consulting in mediums / spiritual coaches. Our subconscious can take us on a mind trip!

I met a young woman while hanging out one day… she was intriguing, but something about her put me off so I decided to stay away from her.

She didn’t like that at all. She wanted my company and my willingness to accept her into my life. Psycho.

No thanks. I left her alone.

I somehow found myself in a Catholic monastery – like living there! No clue how that came about … but then again there’s a bit of family history in reference to this.

I didn’t have a bedroom. I had to sleep by the altar in the cathedral. The place honestly reminded me of the church they shot My Chemical Romance’s emo song “Helena”.

I met another young girl who was super nice and we looked out for each other – she oddly resembled a young Kirsten Dunst (Interview with a Vampire era). Yeah…. so here it goes.

As I was sleeping on one of the pews one night, I noticed one of the gargoyles “waking up” … yes, I started to freak out, but I didn’t do anything stupid. I just waited to see what would happen next.

The gargoyle flicked a ring at me – it was a gold ring and it was raw. When I say, “raw” I mean it was crudely made. The metal wasn’t smooth. It had a raw, uncut diamond and a pearl and both were set in an infinity setting. The thing was HUGE – it fit like the size of a quarter in my palm!

I didn’t want it. I didn’t trust it. On top of that I have been afraid of losing my own wedding/engagement ring. I immediately made sure these two rings were on me and in the process I almost lost them!

It was all in slow motion:
Almost lost my own rings while this monster ring was in my right hand
– I walked to the altar to place the monster ring there
– Secured my own rings back on my finger

Next thing I know I heard whispers … a particular voice. A woman with a vengeance. I knew who it was. I started to see ash in the air as if something was burning. I knew where to go.

I found the Kirsten-Dunst look-alike nun in her room. (why did she get her own room and I DIDN’T!?) She was smiling and chanting something. She saw me as I entered and got on her feet.

“My sister sends her regards.” Yeah – she ended up being Psycho’s little sister I guess.

“Tell your sister to stop this madness!”

“I can’t control her.”

“She’s evil … and you’re just helping her! STOP!”

“I can’t”

I lost it. I held her in a choke hold against the wall and said, “I will KILL you if you don’t stop her and if she has any love for you she WILL stop!”

Yeah … that’s when I woke up. Sorry. No epic ending. You could taste a fight in the air – whether it was with the younger sister or the witchy sis. I dunno. I tried.


I know … there’s plenty of room for interpretation. I get it and honestly, I welcome it. I think the first dream is about re-living similar moments and missing them. I let Das play his music pretty loud sometimes and I know Torey would have been annoyed as hell so maybe it’s his way of saying,
“Stop the nonsense!” Haha!

The second dream is all over the place. I know I worry about losing sentimental treasures, so obviously our wedding rings fall into that category. I’m too much of a heathen to join any monastery so that’s not happening at all. Symbolisms are there, I know.

I can’t share the third dream because I swear it’s worse than a True Blood episode! Let’s just say fairies and leprechauns in Mexico are involved – I wrote about it in my journal and I laugh every time I think about it. Torey would have loved to hear about this one!


Sometimes I wake up feeling like Torey’s been with me all night. Sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. I’ll take as many dreams as I can get to see and hear him again.


This was taken 7 years ago during Labor Day weekend – we were at The Owners Box in downtown Dallas.

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?

Milestones

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

#missyouTMitch

T-Mitch Dreamin’

Yes, I still see T-Mitch in my dreams and that’s where he’s the most alive for me. I just haven’t been sharing every single one here on this platform. I had a really good one last night and I’m positive it was inspired by Das’ performance on the field yesterday.

I don’t get to go to every one of Das’ summer ball games due to work. T-Mitch would have if he could – he hated missing his games and the feeling is mutual. With that said I’m thankful to go when I can and Das is an amazing son for understanding this.

We poured our hearts out to each other before going to bed last night, shedding tears. Das understands how tough the rest of his baseball years are going to be and how there will be times he will have to travel without me. All I can say is that this dream I’m about to share with you … well I’m taking this as a sign from T-Mitch to both Das and I.

Torey and I dropped Das off an hour early as usual at the ball field – and it looked like we were in Malibu. The both of us went for a drink and shared a few laughs. He was wearing his Green Sox gear, hat turned backwards, long green socks with his green New Balance sneakers … and of course his black sunglasses.

He was truly happy – so was I. We left the bar and headed back to the ballpark. This park was incredibly beautiful! The field rested on a cliff and if you hit a home run the ball would go straight into the Pacific Ocean. No palm trees or anything from that viewpoint beyond the field – just the ocean. It was a lot like Pepperdine University’s field, but even more impressive. The seating area was elevated, and it was natural terrain. Imagine sitting behind home plate with the ability to bring your own chairs and still feel like you’re enjoying mother nature. No concrete.

I set our chairs up and looked behind me and there was Torey, smiling at me. I asked him if he saw Das’ hits from yesterday’s games and he replied, “I haven’t missed any of his games! My boy is BALLIN’!!” His roaring laughter was so infectious that it made other people at the park laugh, too. I was so happy to hear him say this and to see him so happy and proud of our son!

I was upset that I woke up before being able to see Das on the field, but it was super sweet and heartwarming. There’s a sense of comfort from this dream, a feeling I haven’t felt in forever. Our love for each other will never go away. Our love for Das will always be here, too.