Wisconsin Mom Heather McManamy lost her battle with breast cancer a few days before Christmas, but not before planning to leave a last message to her loved ones on Facebook. Her husband Jeff posted her message to her Facebook page after her death. It begins:
“I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, apparently, I’m dead. The good news is that if you’re reading this, you are most definitely not (unless they have wifi in the afterlife). Yes, this sucks. It sucks beyond words, but I’m just so beyond grateful that I lived a life so full of love, joy and amazing friends.”
McManamy leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter, Brianna, and her post is full of instructions to her friends and family on how to celebrate her life with Brianna rather than being overcome by grief. She writes:
“… rather than dwelling on the tragic Terms of Endearment end of my story, laugh at the memories we made and the fun we had. Please tell Brianna stories, so she knows how much I love her and how proud of her I will always be (and make me sound waaay cooler than I am). Because I love nothing more than being her mommy. Nothing. Every moment with her was a happiness I couldn’t even imagine until she came crashing into our world.”
As a mom of three young kids, McManamy’s story hits way too close to home. I cannot imagine facing the stark reality that I will not be there to raise my babies and guide them as they grow. I appreciate the way McManamy has left this final message full of humor through the sadness she must have felt. It’s truly a tribute to the strong, loving woman she was.
Before her death, McManamy began preparing cards and letters for Brianna to mark the special occasions she would miss: her 16th birthday, her high school graduation, her wedding. The result is “Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter,” coming in April 2016. I look forward to reading these words of wisdom from a mom gone too soon.
I am praying for Brianna, her dad, and all of Heather’s loved ones! What a legacy she leaves.