The Safe by Torey Mitchell

It’s been an agonizing year … I still have a hard time accepting losing T-Mitch. A whole year has passed. It’s just hard to believe sometimes and yet here we are in a life without Torey and with COVID. Talk about insanity!

I’ve had the chance to go through our belongings these past few weeks and came across journals he used to keep. He always wanted to put a rap album out or create documentaries / movies / videos. He has a ton of ideas and couldn’t wait to share with the world. I was able to put something together to share with you: his thoughts and creativity. It was a difficult process, but I’m happy to have done this for him.

“The Safe” is in the form of an e-book and will be available on Amazon as of 11.23.2020, however pre-orders are available today. If you knew Torey you’re going to love his insight and gain an understanding of his intentions/thoughts/desires. Much love and thank you for your support!


Desi Wings!

I got to hang out with Torey in my dream last night. He was in good spirits and made us (Das and I) laugh. He got hungry and before I knew it he was devouring some chicken wings! Of course, wings, right!? They looked like the desi wings I make which were his favorite kind… he was all smiles and I was so happy! The last few times I dreamt of him, he’s been in his Green Sox gear … I find that pretty amusing!

aNu’s Desi Wings. Ingredients include: tandoori seasoning, nutmeg, Indian chili powder, curry powder, ginger & garlic paste, lemon juice, salt & pepper

I haven’t woken up with a smile in nearly a year … until today. Thank you, Torey!


It’s Been a While …

Well … the one-year mark is approaching, and it’s been heartbreaking to even acknowledge this. It’s still so hard to believe Torey’s gone sometimes.

I’ve been clearing out a storage unit he used for his recycling pickups. We eventually ended up in using it as our own storage unit and man this was an undertaking task! I don’t think he used it for the past 2 or 3 years because so much dust had accumulated over time. I was thankful I had my mask on when I opened the unit.

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I found so much stuff: baseball equipment, recycling bins, industrial toner cartridges (unused), old electronics, floppy disks … several other items I think he was waiting to see how these items can be re-purposed/recycled.

Oh, and books. LOTS of books and DVDs. Half Price should be happy.

Going through our personal belongings brought back a wave of emotions as the memories flooded in. I found stacks and stacks of photos from our time living in Houston during our 20s. I wish I could remember all of the names of the people we used to hang out with – Torey would have remembered their names! That’s the truth.

People remind me that Torey would want me to “move on” … I don’t think that’s possible at all. I don’t think you can truly “move on” when you have lost your soul mate and best friend. What IS possible is you learn to live with this sentiment and challenge yourself to get through another day. It’s about finding a way to live with this intense grief, which feels like it’s never really going to go away. It can be very overwhelming some days while others are a little easier to get through. My heart doesn’t feel empty because my love for him is still stronger than ever. This won’t ever stop. In my grief groups I often hear about widows/widowers finding their “chapter two” and how it’s possible to make room for a new person in their lives. While that sounds hopeful, I don’t know if it’s even possible for me. I suppose I don’t want anyone to get that close to me anymore.

I’ve been asked how Das and I will be spending November 20th. I’m not really sure to be honest. I know we’re going to spend the day together – Das wants it that way and I am grateful he asked for this. I’ve watched some monumental sports moments with Das and my new friends the past couple of weeks and I can hear Torey’s voice through it all. I can feel what he’d say or do … I’ll never stop loving him. Never. Ever. My only one true love in life.

There are so many people I’m thankful for in this journey so far … I can’t name them all, but honestly most of them are the new people in my life. They’ve helped me to embrace laughing again. I appreciate everyone who checks on us. It’s a small group of folks and they know who they are…

“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…


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.


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?