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 …


Another Letter from a Donor Recipient

It’s incredible to know Torey is still making a positive impact on total strangers. This came in the mail a few days ago and again, it moved me to tears.

Dear Donor Family,

I am writing to express my sympathy in the death of your loved one, and to thank you for the gift of tissue that they donated.

I needed it because I have arthritis of the spine, and developed Cauda equina syndrome.

I’m a 60 year old mother of two daughters, and a grandmother of two, with another one on the way. I also drive transport for rescued animals to help them start a new life.

My brother passed 10 years ago, and he also was an organ/tissue/bone donor. I plan on paying your gift forward by doing the same.

Much love,


I found myself googling what Cauda Equina Syndrome is and learned that it is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis where all of the nerves in the lower back suddenly become severely compressed. I can’t imagine how painful this must be! It’s comforting to know Torey was able to help another person.

Please support T-Mitch’s 45th Birthday Fundraiser if you can – there are two days left!


Happy 45th Birthday, T-Mitch!!!

45 years young … and his absence is still so LOUD in our lives and I doubt this will ever change. Das and I miss him SO much!!! I know many of you do, too!

I think he’d be pretty stoked in how we’re kicking off his birthday celebrations this year! Many of you know he’s donated several of his birthdays to a worthy cause – here’s a few I can recall:

I Have a Dream Foundation

Reece for the Win

There are a few more, but no sites to refer them to… my goal is to add to this list!

Of course I was going to use Facebook to start this off, but alas I got hacked (perfect timing, right!?)! Not sure if you can blame the Russians this time because apparently it’s someone in Malaysia, but anything is possible! (Sorry my Russian friends!)

I wanted to have T-shirts made with a cool design of his silhouette to remember him by. A friend I used to work with, Siobhan Davis, helped me bring this silhouette into fruition and it was inspired by an image taken of him at a New Year’s Eve party a few years ago. This party was epic and we were able to share it with my cousins!

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this design (especially with how the original image is so grainy and blurry, but it just captured his essence at the moment!) and as you know – Torey was all about being fresh and loved new approaches to design. I feel in my heart and soul he approves of this image and if you truly knew him, you know I’m speaking the truth!

I have chosen to use Bonfire as an avenue to create T-Shirts and other apparel to showcase this design. They allow proceeds to be donated to a non-profit of my liking and I have chosen T-Mitch’s Sista From Anotha Mista’s organization as the first of many to come. Tran Dang is her name and helping is her game! The organization is The Rhizome Center for Migrants. They are devoted to helping displaced individuals for not only the sake of justice but also for human rights.

I know in my heart this is what he’d want right now. He had plans to go to Mexico to not just hang out with Tran, but to help her, too, in 2020 – that was one of his true intentions. The two of them under the same umbrella were not only intellectually lethal, but ummm… hangover lethal! LOL! It’s truly a blessing to have this bond with Tran (she happens to be Das’ Godmother, too!)!

You ready to celebrate T-Mitch!?? Well here you go, folks (several other products are available, too!). The products are available for the next 20 days to order. Click the image / link below:

Thank you ALL for your love and support!

T-Mitch, you are truly missed. Happy Birthday, my Forever Love. You upheld fatherhood at its highest mark. You’re in our hearts until the end of time, homie…



I woke up in my dream to Torey getting ready in the morning … he looked great! Clean bald head, face freshly shaven, wearing a white T-shirt and some navy blue athletic shorts. He was getting his black suit ready and laying his clothes out on the bed.

“Hey, ‘Nita!”

I smiled from ear to ear and said how nice it was to see him again.

“So, I’ve been thinkin’ – I know you’ve been working from home and I need to get back to work. No more free time for me anymore.”

I nodded my head in agreement and said I’d start getting ready for the day, too.

“Okay, cool – I’ll see you when I’m done.”

I turned to look at him and there he was, in his favorite black suit and rockin’ his dreadlocks. He looked like he did on our wedding day (except no tux). That gorgeous smile and those welcoming, loving almond eyes … my heart melted.

I woke up smiling.

Thank you, T-Mitch!



Dear Torey…

You’ve been gone 18 months.

It feels like a lifetime.

Das and I are doing our best … but the road is still marked with moon sized craters, twists and turns.

It’s hard to fight back the random tears and sobs.

All we have are precious memories – even the bad moments are precious because you were here.

Your light, your glow, your smile, your touch, your laugh, your words, your everything are truly missed.

I still see you and feel you in my dreams.

Can you hear me when I talk to you?

I feel silly when I talk to you out loud, but I get comforted to know you can hear me … even in my quiet thoughts.

I’m not sure why I’m even writing this in my blog, but I suppose it’s a moment to document.

Maybe others can find some comfort?

Speaking of others … it’s not always easy to talk about you.

Some folks get uncomfortable.

I don’t mind it when others share their own sorrow because I know how much you mean to them.

I just don’t like it when people get uncomfortable or when they have the attitude of, “just get over it.”

It’s honestly not that easy.

I always wonder what you would do if you were in my shoes.

Would you feel like I do?

How would you try to drown this grief?

I think you’d be better at this than I am.

Where on earth would you scatter my ashes?

I want my ashes to be with yours.

Some in the Pacific with you as you wished and some with you in a tree planted by Das as we both wished.

Speaking of our boy, he had to wear jeans for a team picture at Hebron today!

LOL! He hasn’t worn jeans since elementary/middle school because of his catcher legs!

He wore your black boots, too.

Oh how we MISS YOU, T-Mitch!

Love you, Babe… forever and always.

~ neena

And for those of you who actually read this:

Torey Mitchell | Belligerent Gus Blog


9 Minutes and 29 Seconds

Today the jury reached its verdict to determine Derek Chauvin’s fate. The man who let his whole body weight land through his knee on George Floyd’s neck – on Floyd’s precious life.

Das didn’t have practice this evening – he had to stay a little past the time of school being out so I needed to pick him up. According to the news the verdict was going to be announced anytime after 3:30 pm CST.

I was on CNN.

3:30 pm hit and I was on alert. Das texted me at 3:41 pm. I had to leave to get him – I left the TV on.

I was on mash mode – yes, I adhered to school zones, but man I was on a mission! I didn’t want to miss it. Lucky for me the go-to station in our truck (105.3 FM) was ready to announce the verdict once they got it while talking about baseball and Texas Rangers.

We we walked in at 4:04 pm and the verdict rolled out at 4:07 pm.

Yes, Das and I got to watch it together. The fact that we experienced it together is truly monumental.

Was I skeptical when I woke up? Yes. Yes, I was! Injustice has happened SO MANY TIMES BEFORE! Why wouldn’t I be skeptical!?

The fact that this happened on 4.20 is also another monumental moment in history for any stoner soul – seriously! You’ll never forget this day no matter how many brain cells you may destroy! haha!

My late godmother passed away on this day 9 years ago.

Torey passed away 17 months ago as of today.

But you know what? Life has to go on. I’m not really ready for the next chapter but I know Torey wants me to be ready. It’s not something I’m prepared for, but I must. I get it. I have to. I have to for my son.

I hope the Floyd family is able to do the same … his brother has already said he’s ready to help people in this world and that’s inspiring. I always imagine what T-Mitch sees and who he meets in his after life and I believe he’s making the right connections to inspire all of us. I truly do. The man was a doer. A doer for good causes.

Let’s help let his light shine and do the same! Shine your own light and DO GOOD!

Our cousin, Ashley @ashley.j.mitchell drew this and I’m incredibly proud to share her creativity with you!! Great work, Ashley!!!
Like I said … he was a DOER!! haha!