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ABOUT A CAT NAMED PANCHO

img_7434It has taken me a long time to write this post about my best friend, Jim, who passed away in August 2013. It was even harder to write about the cat he left behind–the only animal he really loved, named Pancho. And it has proven to be extremely difficult to write this post about the death of Pancho. I think that it just brings a lot of unpleasant memories surrounding the death of Jim. You will understand what I mean soon enough. Now that I live in a neighborhood where we have two stray cats that always seem to find themselves on my porch, I feel like I can tell the story about Pancho. (I feed the cats and pet them and give them love. Shhh. Don’t tell my extremely allergic husband)

Around 12 years ago, Jim was in a relationship with a man (whom I still call my friend today), named Miguel. Miguel was a lover of animals and of love in general. So when Miguel moved into Jim’s beautiful row home in Washington, DC, Miguel took a liking to stray cat who hat been terribly hit by a car. While Jim didn’t care for animals much let alone stray cats, he saw how happy this cat made Miguel and he witnessed a sweet nurturing side of Miguel that he adored. So Jim and Miguel began feeding Pancho (Miguel came up with the name for the female cat by giving her the name Pancha. But Jim was able to say Pancho easier. So Pancho stuck. Ha).

Over the years, Jim and Miguel’s romantic relationship crumbled but they remained best friends. Jim kept Pancho in the break up and really ended up loving Pancho so much. The August 2013 day when my sister and I went to go break into Jim’s house because we were worried about him, we saw Pancho peeking through the window at us. Pancho looked a bit distressed and kept coming to every window Linda and I tried breaking through. It made it hard for Linda and I to break through the window. We didn’t want Pancho to get hurt.

We ended up calling the police who then called Fire Fighters. Fire Fighters broke into Jim’s house— and what they discovered was a gruesome end to a life cut too short. Pancho was given to Miguel who lived 45 minutes away in a rural suburb of Maryland. Pancho tried adjusting to her new life. Miguel enjoyed having her because Pancho was a constant, loving reminder of Jim. But sadly, one day while Miguel was at work in October 2015, Miguel received a phone call from a friend who was at his house who said that 2 neighbors dogs were let loose and ate Pancho alive right in front of her. She tried to stop the dogs but it was too late. Pancho’s remains were scattered all over the yard. Miguel rushed off the phone, and by the time he came home, he was alone again. He didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to Pancho the way he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to Jim. Pancho left this world in such a horrific way the way Jim left this world. Miguel called me to tell me what happened and I was crushed. This was not fair. Pancho had a tough life but found love through Jim and Miguel. Why did these dogs have to destroy her spirit? It makes me sad to this day when I think about Pancho (even though Pancho was a bitchy little thing, haha). The only thing that gives me solace is knowing that she is with her dad and they are both at peace.

So there you have it. This isn’t about my life as a fire survivor. This is a story about survivors living and deceased. We all have a story to tell. We all deal with pain in some form or another. But if we have love, that pain even for a little bit dissipates, and we keep moving forward. Jim and Pancho were survivors in so many ways, but have found their peace even if they had to leave this earth with a little pain.

xoxo. My next blog post is a list of my favorite things that includes make up I absolutely love. Talk to you next week!

 

 

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.

 

 

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I’m Just Not One to Talk About Myself…

I know it sounds ridiculous because I have been featured in National Publications and was on a TV show. BUT it’s true. While I wanted to tell my story to meet people who share similar stories of hardship, the idea of keeping up a blog, twitter, Instagram, etc just doesn’t appeal to me. To me, it sounds a bit arrogant because I am not offering anything but advice. I’m not teaching any skill. My advice giving is not a skill and not the end all be all of what it takes to make you a happier person. I simply  reveal my experiences with how I came out of darker times throughout my life. I hope it helps people, but I do NOT think I am special in any way and I am only doing this blog because I have been told that my stories are entertaining and help some. The moment people stop coming up to me and writing me will be the day that I stop writing, because I don’t want to be revealing my thoughts if they don’t help anyone. Ha.
So anyway, I said that I was going to go through my Memorial Day weekend in my last post. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was an absolute blast. We stayed at my mom’s boyfriend’s house in Bethany Beach, Delaware, then went out to Fagers Island in Ocean City, Jam Session at Bottle and Cork in Dewey Beach and the Starboard in Dewey where Jason (my boyfriend) met legendary former University of Maryland Basketball Coach, Gary Williams,  Indiana Hoosier’s Basketball Coach (can’t remember name)  and CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank. He had drinks with them and that pretty much made his life. He was like a giddy little school boy. I don’t blame him though. I would be freaking out if I met Oprah. I love that woman. I feel like she would be such a blast one minute, and then could get really deep the next minute while still being ridiculously entertaining. Anyway, I digress…
So since we last spoke, I not only went to the beach, I also went camping on the beaches of Assateague Island with my family. It was so much fun to be one with nature. Poor Jason doesn’t think so though as he forgot to put bug spray on after he got out of the ocean water, that he got bitten over 100 times!! Haha. He was so sore and I cannot help but laugh a little because anyone who  has gone camping, has gotten bitten a ton of times at one point or another. Jason had only been camping a 1/2 of a time before in his life. So he is still new to the whole outdoorsy thing.
One big thing happened on Saturday May 30th—I got engaged!! Jason completely surprised me with a beautiful 2 carat round solitaire with a white gold pave band. I am only writing out exact details because I always wonder when I see the beautiful rings on my friends and family. I have never been more happily surprised in my life. I thought Jason and I were entertaining friends from New Jersey that weekend. We were excited to show them around DC and took them to the Monuments. Never in a million years did I know that Jason had been planning a surprise this grand with 40 of my family and friends behind my back! I hung out with all of those people at some point or another since the time they found out that he wanted to propose to me in April and still I have no idea how they were all dead silent about my engagement. You would think someone would slip up and no one did. I am eternally grateful. The last time I was surprised was when Jim died. Before that, I have never been surprised and I had always wanted a great surprise. Jason did it and I don’t know how I got so lucky to meet this incredible man who genuinely loves me and my flaws.
Above is the video my cousin edited to make even more special of the day when she posted Bruno Mars’s music to a few videos edited together. Forever, my ugly cry face will be on the internet, but you guys have already seen it if you remember me on Botched. ; )Until we talk again! Have an incredible remainder of the week. I’ll post my first video message on my youtube channel in my next post. Ahhhhh! I can already hear the insults. Ha.

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!!

 

One Flew over the Cookoo’s Nest

Hey!

I know that I haven’t written in 2 weeks. I am sorry! I doubt you care too much. Ha. Anyway, the past 2 weeks have been busy. I listed my condo to Rent and I went searching for a new apartment to live with my boyfriend in Washington, D.C. We found the perfect 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment for us on Valentine’s Day which was actually super cute and romantic and stuff like that. For those of you who didn’t know I have a boyfriend, let me introduce you to Jason. I won’t post a picture of him until he gives me permission. But yeah, we are pretty serious and I am madly in love with him and just never expected this all to happen when we met. I believe you will witness some of our love on E!’s Botched when it premieres in April. I want to talk about a lot of things, but because of Non Disclosure Agreements, I want to keep my medium size lips sealed so I’m not served with a $50,000 + law suit from the lovely people at the E! Network and Evolution Media. Evolution is the awesome company I worked with who produce Botched and other really juicy reality TV shows. Great people over there and I wish them all a TON of success.

Okay, I am babbling. This post was just a short one to kind of get myself back on track with the site. I am going to post on random days and more consistently once March hits and promos begin airing. I only say that because it will keep me more motivated to post. You know what I mean? I figure I will have topics planned out to write about on any given day of the week. Here is what I am thinking below:

Monday: Life Updates

Tuesday: The real deal Tuesday on what I as a burned victim have experienced in relationships & dating

Wednesday: Health, Beauty, Fashion and Decor tips for all people but with a focus on us scarred ones

Thursday: Throwback Thursday photos and memories from growing up with a facial scar

Friday: Future Friday– what I hope for the future and positive notes

Saturday: Party, Recipes & Event Planning Ideas

Sunday: Random Stories & Happenings in the wonderful world of Crispy Crissy

Until next time my friends…oh, here are a few shots of the condo I am renting out. You want to rent it from me? : 0 my best friend Cristian is an insanely talented Interior Designer. If you want to hire him (he is very inexpensive for my friends), let me know. Let me know if in the comments section if you want to know about where I purchased any of the pieces.

 

Until next time, xoxo

http://postlets.com/r/5201b-wisconsin-ave-nw-unit-405-washington-dc-20015/13275286

MY CONDO 145  condo2 kitchen1MY CONDO 146

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