Never fear – country singer Jo Dee Messina has been there before, and has a great pick-me-up. Now married to Chris Deffenbaugh since October 2007, the 40-year-old singer known for hits including Bye-Bye, Burn and Heads California, Tails California is mom to son Noah, 1.
But she only got to this happy place because she had the courage to say goodbye to fiancé #1, Don Muzquiz, in 2004.
What advice would she give someone going through a broken engagement?
“Hang on,” she cackles. “Just keep going, just keep going. [laughs] I wrote a song at that point, and it said something to the extent of ‘oh my God, the sun came out again.’ Just keep moving forward. Just take the next step forward. Keep moving. Keep breathing.”
How difficult was it for her?
“At the time it was devastating,” she says. “When I met my husband, I could hear God snickering up there going ‘see what I had planned for you?’ [laughs] But at the time, yeah. That was nine years of my life. That’s a big chunk of somebody’s lifetime that I was with that person, and you kind of have to relive again. That’s why I say ‘just keep breathing,’ because everything’s going to be new. Figure your way through it.”
How did she know Chris was The One?
“We just fit,” she says. “It was effortless. Not meaning we don’t try to do things for the other person, but it was the most comfortable, effortless relationship. We loved each other. We still love each other for all the wonderful things and all the quirks. Robin Williams goes into that thing in Good Will Hunting about those little things, the idiosyncrasies of the other person. It’s like he sees them all, and he still loves me. And me with him. It’s those little things that make him perfect.”
These days, Jo Dee couldn’t be happier with her life with son Noah.
“He is almost walking,” she says. “He will put his hand on stuff, and take a few steps. If he wants to get there fast, he drops to his knees and crawls because he can crawl at light speed. He’s got his two bottom teeth and his two top teeth, so he can take a bite off of the graham crackers. And he laughs all the time. I get him out of his crib first thing in the morning, and there he is – huge smile. He’s a very happy soul, which is a blessing.”
Jo Dee’s new album, Unmistakable, will be in stores April 13.