Wisconsin Mom Who Wrote Cards for Toddler’s Future Milestones Has Died
Heather McManamy, 36, has died.
— -- Heather McManamy,the cancer patient and mom who wrote greeting cards for her daughter's future milestones, has died.
"Hello all, I am posting this on behalf of the love of my life," her husband Jeff McManamy posted on her Facebook page today. "These are her words. Much love to all."
"So…I have some good news and some bad news," Heather penned in a prepared note. "The bad news is, apparently, I’m dead. Good news, if you’re reading this, is that you are most definitely not (unless they have wifi in the afterlife). Yes, this sucks. It sucks beyond words, but I’m just so damn glad I lived a life so full of love, joy and amazing friends. I am lucky to honestly say that I have zero regrets and I spent every ounce of energy I had living life to the fullest. I love you all and thank you for this awesome life.
"I love you, Jeff," she continued. "I believe that the awesomeness that is Brianna is our love brought to life, which is pretty beautiful. It absolutely breaks my heart to have to say goodbye. If it’s half as sad for you as it is for me, it breaks my heart over again because the last thing I ever want to do is make you sad. I hope that with time, you can think of me and smile and laugh, because, holy s--- did we have a breathtaking life. Go google Physicist’s Eulogy and know that it is a scientific fact I will always be with you both in some way. I know that if you just stop and look hard enough, I’ll be with there (in as non-creepy a way possible) [sic]. You’re my world and I loved every second we had together more than words.
"From the bottom of my heart, I wish all my friends long, healthy lives and I hope you can experience the same appreciation for the gift of each day that I did. If you go to my funeral, please run up a bar tab that would make me proud. Heck, blast “Keg on My Coffin” and dance on the bar for me (because there had better be a dance party at some point). Celebrate the beauty of life with a kick--- party because you know that’s what I want and I believe that in a weird way, I will find a way to be there too (you know how much I hate missing out on fun). I look forward to haunting each one of you, so this isn’t so much a goodbye as it is see you later Please do me a favor and take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the fragile adventure that is this crazy life. Don’t ever forget: every day matters."
McManamy, 36, of McFarland, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in April 2013, but it was her terminal diagnosis in August 2014 that had her thinking about her family members’ lives without her, she told ABC News in July.
Knowing her life could be cut short, McManamy decided she'd leave a little something behind for her toddler, Brianna: pre-written greeting cards celebrating all the significant moments life has to offer.
“They’re like this physical representation of 'this is all of the stuff I'm going to miss,'" she said. "I'm going to miss everything and I never like missing anything. I'm always the last one to leave the party.”
Inside more than 40 different cards, McManamy said she offered her daughter advice, shared jokes and wished her all the happiness in the world.
“I did them for when she's older or younger -- random encouragement, bad day, wedding, driver's license, even first breakup,” McManamy said. ”My husband and I have been together for 13 years and we have a really special relationship. I see Bri’s awesomeness as a personification of our love. She grew up with mommy having cancer as normal, but she’s so happy and hilarious. That kid loves to dance and shake her butt. She's a special, empathetic kid and she really cares for other people.
“I don’t care what she does in her life," she added. "I just want her to find her happiness. Life it short. If she’s true to herself, everything will be OK.”
McManamy has written a memoir titled “Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter."
The book will be released in April 2016.