Browsing Tag

friendship

An Unlikely Friendship

Everyone, meet Francis Wallace (pictured below). Francis read my article in The Washington Post back in April 2014 and found me through Google. It turns out he didn’t have to do much stalking as my name and pictures are very searchable. Haha. Yey, what every person wants– personal stories and hideous photos blasted all over the internet for years to come! ; )

Anyway, back to my story. Let’s flashback to not even 2 weeks ago when I received an email on my Linkedin page from Francis. His message wash short. “Hi Cristina. I read your story in The Washington Post. I am also a burn survivor. Can you give me a call, please?” You know me, whenever anyone writes me after knowing about my fire accident, I immediately write back. This time, I gave Francis a call. Upon completing the phone call, I learned a few things about Francis. Francis sounded like a gentle man who happens to live right outside of Washington, DC– very close to me. He read my article in the Post a few months back, lost the article and went on a frantic search to find me. He just felt like he needed to meet me. For anyone to want to meet me makes me feel special. Why me you ask, right? Well Francis has written a book called, A Will to Live and was in the final editing stages before production. He wanted to meet me because my story in the Post resonated with him and he felt that I had a story to tell and he wanted to hear it. Being the trusting person I am, I made an appointment to meet with Francis at a coffee shop in Washington, DC. Of course once I told my sister I was going to meet with a man alone whom I had never met before in D.C. during the the early morning hours, she freaked out. I however didn’t. Remember when I told you that Francis sounded like a gentle man over the phone? He also made sure to tell me that he was married and has daughters. He then added me on Facebook so I knew he was a real human being with a life of his own and I gathered that he was a religious family man. He wasn’t a cookoo for coco puffs who wanted to use my hair as tooth floss and my skin as a door mat. Well at least that’s the vibe I got. So last week I met up with Francis.  We both happened to arrive at the same time, park, and walk while talking to each other on the phone. As soon as I turned a corner to head to the entrance of the coffee shop, there he was– Francis Wallace. As soon as we saw each other, we gave one another a big hug.

francis and crissy 1

Francis Wallace is a 75 year old black man who was burned on over 85% of his body at the age of 25 in a fire that stemmed from an outdoor BBQ Grill. Then there is me–a 30 year old, white female who was burned at the age of 10 on less than 5% of my body in an accident that stemmed from a garage fire. Francis and I connected over a sweet tea and cappuccino. We spoke for almost 2 hours. He told me that his book has been years in the making, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago when he really got serious about finishing his book. The stories that Francis told me about his life not just about the fire, are INCREDIBLE. Real, raw and they made me yearn to want to know more about his life. I shared some of my stories to Francis and he said to me, “Cristina, you have a story to tell. There is a reason why we both survived. Let’s share our stories together.” Francis is right. I do have stories to tell and have written around 20 pages of a book that I began a few years back. I just keep putting it off. I was hoping that this blog would suffice, but Francis pushed me and said that I needed to finish my book.

Francis doesn’t know me well but he knew that we were meant to cross paths and work together. After meeting Francis though, it seemed as though we had known each other for years. How can two completely different people feel a connection? How could one person who is very religious and the other person who considers herself more spiritual than religious have a deeper connection? Francis and I share a significant experience in our lives that dictated the rest of our lives. Francis and I may seem like we are from two worlds apart, but we aren’t. We are both living, breathing humans that believe in a greater power that somehow allowed us to keep on going and live the best life we could live despite falling down several times throughout our lives.

Francis is my new friend and will be my friend for life. I cannot wait until Francis’ book comes out and I get to go hear him speak and do book signings. I wish a ton of success for him and I know he wants the same for me. Francis and I decided last week that we are going to both begin speaking at events while he promotes his book and I finish my book. Francis and I have an unlikely friendship, but underneath it all, we are the same. I cannot wait to share more stories. I’ll get Francis to do a video blog with me on my Youtube Channel and we will continue working together and pushing together to be the best people we can be, because after all, we made it out of those fire accidents alive. We are so damn lucky to be alive.

 

 

blog post

3000+ Visitors!! Happy Monday!!

So this is how I'm feeling right now in my office!! When you go from less than 100 people looking at your blog, to over 3000 in a week, your mind is blown. I thought 100 people was a lot of Visitors and was super excited to keep writing for those 100 people and robots. And then I did Press for Botched and WOW, 3000+ Visitors later and here I am gettin' my groove on. Ha. Thank you to the various media outlets who support this blog and all that I want to do to make life a little easier for those of us who are a little different looking than most other people. When I hit the 5000 page load mark, I will create my own Gif and put it up there. That should be motivation to help spread the blog, right? ; )

Anyway, let me share a story with you about this past weekend trip. As I have mentioned in previous posts, my brother is happily married with 3 boys all under the age of 7. They live in this beautiful town 30 minutes outside of New York City called, Maplewood, NJ. The boys are so well behaved and often, parents try to model their parenting skills off of how they see my brother, Carlos and his wife, Annie, parent.

Well, I knew since the boys were born, I would have to one day have that dreaded talk with them about what happened to my face. However, it’s been 7 years since the oldest one was born and he never made any comments about my chin. To him, I’m just his Tia Crissy. So I figured my brother and Annie had the talk with him at some point. Surely, no kid is this quiet when curiosity strikes their sweet minds, right?

Cut to a few days ago when on this past trip, the 7 year old treated me like I was a celebrity. Haha. He pulled out The Washington Post and mentioned how cool it was that his ‘Tia Crissy” was in the paper. At one point at dinner on Friday, he pulled up this hot plate to his chin to smell the food and he accidentally burned himself. He touched his chin and with the most excited look on his face, says, “wowwww, now I know how you felt when you burned your chin. I may also end up with a scar!” Throughout the weekend, he would continue to proudly show off my article in The Washington Post. It’s interesting how I have spent 20 years of my life shy and insecure about my chin and here I have a 7 year old who thinks it’s cool to be different. People have called me brave and courageous for years, but really, the real brave and courageous people are the ones who are able to embrace their physical differences and not be so concerned that how you look might offend other people. The brave ones are the people who are able to look past the physical and see the beauty within someone. I admire my nephew who is so special and doesn’t care that I have a scar– because at the end of the day, he’s just proud that his Tia is in the paper and made it for being different. I love you my little Carlos Eli and cannot wait to see how you continue to grow and inspire the young and…old…er.

I’ll write again tomorrow. xo and thank you all for continuing to read my posts. You’ve made my year. : )

Desperate Much?

Hi!!!

Guess what?! My blog is Googleable and Yahooable. I randomly tried searching it today and it worked!! I never thought I would see the day. It’s awesome!! Also, I went on Fox5’s Good Day DC and had a great time talking with the Newscaster, Holly Morris about Botched and this blog. It was such a fun time. Holly is very personable and kept the conversation light and easy. I have been a fan of Fox5 ever since I was a kid and Tony Perkins was on air pre-Good Morning America. I also own a condo right across from the studio, so I would often walk by while they were doing live news programs outside in front of the building. Good Day DC has a great team of people who are really funny. They made me laugh so hard this morning when I was in the green room watching on the tv of them go back and forth with banter.

Anyway, I hope your week has been great! Mine has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with doing Press, having Botched air and opening myself up to the world. I unfortunately will not be blogging this weekend because I am heading to New Jersey to visit my brother, his wife and their 3 kids. Have you ever been around 3 kids under the age of 7, 2 parents, a 15 year old foreign exchange student that happens to be your cousin, 4 grandparents, 1 great grand parent, a brother in law, sister and boyfriend all under one roof? If you haven’t, then this is what you should expect to look like by the time Monday morning rolls around:

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Don’t get me wrong, we have so much fun throughout the entire weekend. But it is non stop on the go beginning at 6am when one of the little munchkins wakes up, tip toes downstairs quietly so when they jump on you in bed, they can realllllly startle the living sh*t out of you, and then your night ends with a belly full of food and booze at around 2am. I’m looking forward to family time. I just will not have any time to blog. But I promise you, come Monday, I will have lots to talk with you about.

So let me tell you why my blog is titled the way it is. After getting lots of attention from amazing people who are fans of the various news, radio and E! show I was on, I have received numerous messages from people. One particular Reader wrote me a very sweet email and related to me in a lot of ways. There I was, reading the email and so excited that I could talk with someone about what it’s like to have a facial scar. So after the email ends, I quick reply to her and talk about how we are alike and how I completely understand where she is coming from and even followed up the email with questions. Well, it’s been 2 days and I have yet to hear a response. I think I scared away a potential friend because I was too desperate and excited that I found someone with what I thought were some similarities. So now I’m beginning to think that maybe I should have waited a few days to respond to her email so I could play it cool. I should have written something short and simple. Or, maybe she was just busy. Or, maybe she got into an accident and died? Oh man, I hope the latter is not the case! But it’s funny how we put ourselves in these positions. Because seriously, at the end of the day, who cares? So what if one person doesn’t respond to an open ended email I wrote back? She wrote me first and she took the time to let me know that she’s a fan. No need for a potential friendship. Like my other emails I have received, hers is no different because she also has a facial scar. Just because on the outside people seem similar, it doesn’t mean that they are in the inside. You can’t expect everyone to think like you do. You have to let things slide off your back when things don’t go your way. And at the end of the day, always remember that the little things are just that, so little.

Have a great weekend!! I will write again on Monday!!