Day 344 | AUGUST 20, 2022

Good evening, Friends. Today is day 344 of our new and fantastic life!


It is a long post; please read until the end.


Today I woke up knowing we would have a big day ahead of ourselves; I made the boy’s favorite breakfast, pancakes.


Charlie had decided that today she would visit Patch, the brewery where the accident happened, for the first time since the accident.


I am beyond proud of Charlie for having the courage to visit and face the place where her and our lives changed forever.


Here is Charlie’s experience in her own words:


Today I did something pretty big, incredibly hard, and brave.


Today, with uncertain expectations but a no turning back attitude, I visited Patch for the first time since the accident happened almost a year ago.


This accident altered my life forever (actually, our lives forever). Yes, it left me fighting for my life in the ICU for months. Yes, my boys had their mother ripped away from them, and I had no way of communicating with them to tell them how much I loved them. This accident left my husband crippled in despair, and my friends and family worried sick. Yes, this is THE ACCIDENT that left me unable to bend my knees needing a power chair. And yes, I have lost the function of my dominant right hand.


BUT GUESS WHAT???


I was okay because I AM okay!


Against all odds, I am here. I was left with 3rd and 4th-degree burns on 85 percent of my body, but I SURVIVED.


My body and mind fought hard to be here because my mission here on Earth isn’t done. God answered my prayers that day, and He gave me the strength to keep fighting so I could be a mom to my boys and see them grow up! I remained positive and hopeful I would grow old with my husband just as we always planned. Your prayers and support gave me courage and confidence to face my new world and see myself how others do, a miracle and inspiration. Yes, I have more work to do, but I will be okay. I AM OKAY.


I’m here to see my firstborn off to kindergarten next week. I’ll still get to plan their birthday celebrations and makeshift Halloween costumes. Yes, I still use my left hand to flip pages of the storybook. I still love going on play dates and socializing with my girlfriends. I love food and shopping almost equally and am enjoying them both. I still laugh so hard I cry, and with the same can-do attitude, I will find a way to be outdoors as humanly possible because that’s who I am. I’m still me and MORE! I’m blessed beyond belief and plan to live life to the fullest.


PHOTO CREDIT: @andrecville


Here I’m looking at the spot I stood up from after rolling around to put out the fire that forever altered my life.


#burnsurvivor


After this unexpected visit to Patch, we had lunch at one of our favorite places, the BBQ Exchange. The food was just excellent, and we enjoyed it so much. My friend and co-owner of Patch, Jon came to see Charlie; it was the first time they had seen each other; Jon witnessed the accident and helped to save Charlie’s life.


After we made our way to our last stop of this particular day, the Market at Grelen, an exceptional nursery, and venue where Charlie and I used to come often before the accident, it is an excellent place for families and also accessible; we had delicious homemade ice cream, the boys spend hours at the sandbox, and Charlie enjoyed a little shopping, the end of a big day!


Today was a great day, I was not sure how Charlie would feel when she got to Patch, but to my pleasant surprise, she did well; she took a moment to look over the exact spot where the explosion happened; she is much stronger than I am.


As much as I want to say that I am also ok going to Patch, I am not today. I dealt with challenging PTSD symptoms; I; started right when we arrived there; it is so hard to write about this, mainly because I don’t want to steal from Charlie’s courageous feat today.


Yes, I do feel weak, I don’t like to be so irritable that my own son’s laugh pisses me off, I don’t want to be unable to relax with my family, I hate the guilt that I feel and the horrible thoughts that kept constant in my mind, I hate the feeling of numbness, I hate my inability to feel Joy, yes today was a tough day for me. I don’t want to feel this way.


Tonight, I will go to bed asking God for strength; I need to be able to overcome my PTSD; I must follow Charlie’s example.


How can I start to give back or help anyone if I am still actively dealing with my demons? I need to feel better to help.


I don’t want you to worry about me; I will be ok, but I do want you to pray for me, and anyone out here struggling, I will pray for you; I am blessed to have Charlie by my side.


Yes, today was a beautiful day, yet I fought the darkness inside my head.


Thank you for your prayers and support.


André






Charlie and Julien .jpeg

Cheering on Charlie. 

On Friday, September 10th, Charlie Anne Xavier was in a horrific and life-changing accident. Though she’s surprising her doctors and nurses daily with her incredible strength and resilience, this road to recovery will be an incredibly long one. 

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