In February 2010, my 1st husband announced he no longer wanted to be married… to me. With those words, I became:
- Without a job
- Without a church home (there is no first lady without a husband first)
- Without health or life insurance
- Without a cell phone plan
- Without certainty of where I would live
- And a reluctant single “mother”
My 1st husband and I never had biological children, but were blessed to be chosen as godparents to some amazing kids. One of them, at the tender age of 13 came up to me with her squeaky, demanding voice and said, “Help me find a job and be my godmama.” Taken aback by both, I said okay, and okay. No one could have known that two years later her mother, who worked for my 1st husband and me at the time would die within months of her diagnosis of cancer.
Rakia, and her siblings found themselves without a mom, but with a loving grandmother who took them in. When Rakia entered college the next year and year one of college away from home wasn’t what we wanted it to be she decided to transfer to The University of Montevallo and live with us. And live with us she did! She was a JOY!!!!!
So without the trials of labor I had the blessing of:
- Teaching her how to fry chicken
- Watching the best and worst of reality TV with her
- Talking about boys
- Teaching her etiquette
- Reminding her how NOT to break a curfew
- And now seeing her at almost 30 being a wife and amazing mother
My first marriage, was semi-decent until that night in my den when my starter husband said, he thought he was like Paul in the Bible and not supposed to be married. What the Hall and Oates did he say?!?!?! How was I supposed to hide my tears (and inner #35211) when a 21-year-old was upstairs in hearing distance hurting almost as badly as I was and when we were just months from her graduating college?
If I was able to crawl out of bed with bags under my eyes she was watching. If I wanted to strangle him or SNAP she was watching. If I didn’t clean my plate (and I loved food) she was watching. She was watching because that was what she’d always done in days far more favorable.
One day, a couple of months into the REAL “he’s acting like he doesn’t even know me like I’m some stranger who did him dirty” U-G-L-Y side of my divorce things must have gotten the best of me. I don’t know if I looked bad, or said something contrary to my faith, but my mother uttered some profound words. I was getting ready to go to Superior Grill to meet a friend also going through a divorce and my Mama told me and told me to tell her… Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving!
It was as simple as that. I knew she was telling me it was time to get it together, act like it and look like it too. I knew I must have had the devil and his deviletts think they’d won. So she told me to Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving! I did.
Single moms, yes, you’re single…whether UNFORTUNATELY, UNPREDICTEDLY, THROUGH DEATH, DIVORCE OR BY CHOICE. Yes, however you got here might have hurt like heck. Yes, it might seem like he’s doing better than you with his new bae or boo. Yes, it’s not fair. Yes, to all of the things which would be answered YES. But, regardless… Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving!
In hindsight I know now that…
- The lipgloss represented her order that I get my shine back and put my best face forward.
- The high heels spoke to her command that I rise up, get my pep back and put my best foot forward.
- Keep it Moving was her demand to not look back and put my best faith forward. Point. Blank. Period.
The time for waiting on life to start over is OVER. Life is well on its way to being exactly what it’s meant to be for you, and yours! And your kids are watching and being shaped by your actions and reactions! It’s time to LIVE, look like it and know that Life Gets Better!
So do something for yourself!
- Get up and take a shower then spray yourself with that fancy perfume you’ve been keeping for a “special day”.
- Finish a complete meal regardless of how the hurt tries to tell you not to eat.
- Start saying “yes” when people ask you to do things and come out of isolation.
- Go to a women’s retreat, a single mother’s conference, or a “can you help me with this pain” program.
- Go to a movie…and I don’t mean the latest Frozen flick with your kids. Get a sitter, take a half day at work, go to the cheap Tuesday show and sit in the dark with grown people and popcorn.
- Plan a trip out of town (Groupon and girls trips are the BEST!)
- Get a massage or a manicure. (Groupon is the BEST!)
- Join a gym and make your house an at-home “get myself toned, tight and right” spot
- Write a book. (Somebody needs to have your testimony at the side of their bed at all times to help them make it out of bed.)
- Learn how to garden, change a tire, or cook a real meal.
- Sell your Mama’s famous chili recipe, your homemade door signs or get a trade that will make you a better woman…and some money.
And whatever you do, Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving…because they’re watching!