RELATIONSHIPS with Sandy Daley: “Learn to appreciate what you have!”

The horrific incident at the Boston Marathon has shaken me to my core. Among the dead was happy-go-lucky Martin Richard, the bright 8 year old who had attended the marathon with his mother, brother and sister, in order to see his dad Bill cross the finish line.

{IMAGE VIA - fox59.com} Martin's family now has to deal with not only his death, but also injuries to his sister and his mother. The loss to this family is unimaginable!  This of course, has made me think about my own family, my children and all that I hold near and dear to my heart: and a genuine feeling of ungratefulness crept inside. The Richards' family would be happy to be in my "struggling to keep it all together" shoes at the moment. My children are both here and healthy, and even although kids at times cause a strain on my wallet, they are alive and once there is life, there is hope.

{IMAGE VIA fox59.com} Martin’s family now has to deal with not only his death, but also injuries to his sister and his mother. The loss to this family is unimaginable! This of course, has made me think about my own family, my children and all that I hold near and dear to my heart: and a genuine feeling of ungratefulness crept inside. The Richards’ family would be happy to be in my “struggling to keep it all together” shoes at the moment. My children are both here and healthy, and even although kids at times cause a strain on my wallet, they are alive and once there is life, there is hope.

Tragedy certainly makes you reflect! The Dalai Lama wrote, “There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be used as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experiences, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”

Over the last couple of days, I have truly examined the events of my life that have led up to this point, and only through comic relief am I able to truly put things into perspective, in order to appreciate my struggles.

As a single mother, thoughts of becoming a stripper, robbing a bank, or finding a sugar daddy often crossed my mind. Most men, however, I believe would not be interested in seeing an almost grey haired, 40 year old woman (including my private areas), dancing nude on stage. Yes, like many other 40 something year olds, I have also experienced that Samantha Jones’ moment, (the character from Sex and the City), where she glances down while nude in her bathroom, and finds a grey hair protruding from her private area. So there went my “becoming a stripper” thoughts.

Also, the thought of being someone’s bitch while being incarcerated is so horrifying, (I am a chicken), that I knew that I could never rob a bank. And finding a sugar daddy is also unlikely these days, as the recession is still affecting everyone. So I, like most of the other women who are single, (according to the stats, 59 percent of adults in poverty are women, and three quarters of us are on our own), continue on a daily regimen of trying to make ends meet, while hoping and praying that nothing major happens to rock the boat.

Also, gone were the days when I could spend whatever I wanted to on myself. Designers Gucci and Prada, were certainly not in my vocabulary any more, and sometimes even the knock-offs were too pricey for me, even if they had just happened to “fall out of the back of a truck”. Not to mention manicures and pedicures, as they are only done on a “must have to” basis. The girls at the spa (usually very beautiful Chinese ladies), often ask, “Why don’t you come more often Sandee?” (This is how they pronounce my name. “It is either pedicures or bus passes for my children for the month,” I would rationalize.)

And, will you ever marry again? Only if you are lucky is my answer, as it is a different reality for women compared to men who experience a break-up when children are involved.

Sandy began writing for Street Hype Newspaper, based out of New York City in 2007. Sandy's column, "Real Talk with Sandy", is now one of the most talked about and well-read columns in the newspaper, and can also now be read in “Pride News magazine” which is published in Toronto, Canada. She won the Spirit Award for most favorite columnist in 2009, which was handed out at Citi Fields in New York City and continues to gain the respect from media professionals for her professionalism and love of her craft. She tackles the issues surrounding love and relationships and even sex, in a very humorous, yet truthful way. Everyone looks forward to her weekly adventures as a single woman, still hopeful that Mr. Right will soon reveal himself. Persuaded by many to write a book, Sandy began working on "Whose Vagina Is It, Really?" and has not looked back since.

Sandy began writing for Street Hype Newspaper, based out of New York City in 2007. Sandy’s column, “Real Talk with Sandy”, is now one of the most talked about and well-read columns in the newspaper, and can also now be read in “Pride News magazine” which is published in Toronto, Canada. She won the Spirit Award for most favorite columnist in 2009, which was handed out at Citi Fields in New York City and continues to gain the respect from media professionals for her professionalism and love of her craft. She tackles the issues surrounding love and relationships and even sex, in a very humorous, yet truthful way. Everyone looks forward to her weekly adventures as a single woman, still hopeful that Mr. Right will soon reveal himself. Persuaded by many to write a book, Sandy began working on “Whose Vagina Is It, Really?” and has not looked back since.

While your ex can move on quite easily with the hot, young, yoga instructor, with perky breasts, and the expensive Brazilian weave, (yes my friends, this was my reality), women often find it difficult to find a suitable mate after a divorce. Worse, if you are a single black female, as finding a good black man who is not living on the down low, nor in jail, educated, with no baby mama dramas, and still interested in black women, is seemingly very difficult. Picture yourself trying to find a needle in a haystack. Dating, of course, is not an easy task!

Financial woes or not, raising children on my own is a joy, as little Martin Richard‘s mother, whom we wish a speedy recovery, would gladly trade places with me at the moment. Tragedy certainly has a way of making you reflect and say, “Things could always be worse.”

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