One More Christmas

Guest post: Madison Hedegard {16}
one more christmasYou’d think by now I’d be used to lying on my bed sobbing, asking God, “Why?”
It’s a rude awakening for a child, the discovery that the world is not what you thought it was. And my revelations came like a freight train in the middle of a ghost town, each revelation stronger than the last. This time, it was a phone call from my dad, one July afternoon.
After talking about the physical condition of my mother, I asked the question that I had waited four days to hear.
“So… how’s mom really?”
A brief silence followed, then a sigh. “She has Amnesia.” The conversation continued, “She doesn’t know what two plus two is, or what year we’re in… that’s why when we face-timed she didn’t seem interested. She knows your names… but nothing about you.”
He proceeded to tell me that he had withheld this information from me ever since she had woken up in the hospital. We chatted about small things, said we loved each other, and that everything would be ok.
And then we hung up.
And the tears flowed freely.
I lay curled on my bed, crying gut wrenching sobs, asking God, “Why?”
I had waited so long, believed so much, and now…
My mind continued to draw a blank. It felt like a nightmare come true.Maddie_1
Let me tell you, I would have given anything to know that I would get one more Christmas with my mom.  To know she’d go Christmas shopping with me, and we’d brave the 78 degree Florida winter together. To know, she would look me in the eyes, with a heart full of memories, and say she truly loved me…
But I didn’t have that hope.
Not for a long time.
Not until her amnesia went away, her blood clots stopped pushing on her brain, and the water retention from her blocked superior vena cava diminished.
God has a way of answering our questions in a way we don’t expect, and my answer to “Why?” came a few months after her recovery.
My mom and I were running.
(Or as my mom likes to call it, “slogging”, aka slow jogging.)
And near the end of our little endeavor, my mom who was gasping for air broke down in tears. “I’m sorry!” She gulped in a breath, and then spat out, “That you have to have a sick mom like me.”
It was then that I realized something that few people ever learn until it is too late.
I hugged her, “Oh Mom… I wouldn’t want any other mother than you. If I had a healthy mom, I would take her for granted, and I would pass every day without a second thought that I have a mother.”
And that is where the lightning struck.
Had my mom been a healthy, “normal” mother, I would not know how precious time and people are.
So, why did my mom have to be sick? She didn’t have to be, but praise God she was, because I get to see life in light of eternity. It doesn’t mean that I don’t lose sight of what’s important, goodness I can get distracted! But I am brought back to this truth:
“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?” –Francis Chan
As Christmas rolls around, I thank God for one more Christmas.  I get to hold my mom for one more day, I get a second chance to tell people I love them, and to tell the hurting people there is a Healer.
Yes, I know sometimes the in-laws act like outlaws, and Christmas turkeys can burn, or mysteriously disappear. Siblings can annoy you, and the dog may throw up six times after eating the food someone dropped on the floor.
But wake up! Life is so short.
Please take it from me, love people while you can. Treat them like they’re going to be gone tomorrow. Love the people God put in your life like you are going to lose them and I guarantee that you won’t look back and say you missed a thing.


  • Nancy

    when I first started to read this I got worried that this was written about YOUR mom, Dabney, then as I read on, I realized it was your daughter speaking these words. Very well written, I must share this! Wonderful Christmas reminder! If I only had one more change to hug my mom……

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful Madison! Just like you. Thanks for the tears and the awesome wisdom. Love to you and your family this Christmas from the Plourde family! XOXO

  • Paula Mantrozos

    What a beautiful, honest, heart-pounding, God-Trusting post of real life with the blessing (and it IS truly a blessing) of having YOU as her Mom, Dabney. The writing gene obviously has been passed on to her. She’s always been a very generous-hearted child…that she can express all this, is a gift…one nourished by you and Jason. God bless you all and Merry Christmas! BIG HUGS-P

  • Robyn

    Madison! You are such a blessing to me and I know so much more to your family and your momma! I love you guys tons! thank you for sharing your heart!!

  • Kelly B

    Thank you Madison. What a great message we all need to hear. You have a great attitude because of your great faith in your creator! What a gift you are!

  • Melissa

    As someone who has lost a parent my heart is so full and happy to see other children (offspring not little kids he he) “get it”. I’m so glad that you do. I’m happy you have your mom and that you truly understand how precious it is to have her. Your are a splendid human being!

  • Barbara

    Wow, thanks for tears of joy in the storm. Thankful your Christmas this year was merry with no regrets. What’s important is so beautifully shining through your family; since life is short, but eternity isn’t. Thank you for sharing your blessings and blessing me and my husband in the process. Love to the Hedegard Family.

  • Suzanne Reilly

    Your Mom was an “acquaintance” of our family when this happened. I remember praying with friends for her recovery. But, as a nurse, I knew the prognosis was grim. What a blessing….besides when we heard she was RECOVERING… to read how YOU “get it”! Well, as best as a Human hear can “get” such a situation. As a Mom, I know that the most urgent thing for us is that our children “get it”. I would ensure anything to see my children truly seek God even during the most “tragic” if times. TiueMon is a miracle! And, YOU are such a BLESSING!

  • Rose Rawdon

    That is beautiful Maddie!! You have your mother’s gift for writing. You and your family are so precious to us – we love you all dearly! We continue to pray for your all! Merry Christmas and may your New Year be full of blessings!!! Ms Rose, Amanda and Judy

  • Kitti Cornell

    Madison – We haven’t been around you and your family much since those days when you and Luke were such good buddies…when you were toddlers! We have some great memories with you and your mom & dad (life before your sweet siblings arrived). As I read this post, in awe, I was reminded again that Jesus has taken all of hurts and used them for His glory! Thank you for showing us such a reflection of His love and blessing me this morning with all that you wrote & reminding me of sweet times so many years ago. Love to you!

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