The Short of It
A Wisconsin mom, who wrote more than 40 cards for her young child to read in the future, has very sadly passed away.
Heather McManamy was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in August 2014, so she painstakingly prepared more than 40 cards for her daughter Brianna's future milestones, which she would not live to see.
"I did them for when she's older or younger—random encouragement, bad day, wedding, driver's license, even first breakup," she told ABC News.
McManamy's husband Jeff announced her passing in a social media post prepared by his wife yesterday:
"So...I have some good news and some bad news. 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."
Wow, breath taken away. I can only hope I embrace the same sense of humor and gratitude this mom did with her final words.
She continued: "I love you, Jeff. 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."
McManamy's final wishes were as follows: "If you go to my funeral, please run up a bar tab that would make me proud... 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."
The inspirational mom's letters will be turned into a book, which will be published in April 2016, "Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter." McManamy learned the news and shared it on Facebook Dec. 12: "Seriously, thank you to everyone who convinced me that this was one of those YOLO! opportunities I simply had to go for. The timing couldn't have been crazier, but talk about an amazing alignment of the stars to have something so positive and fun to focus on. ...I hope some of you take the time to read it and remember all the fun we've had together. And I hope that whether healthy or ill, a person or two may read this, stop on occasion, and realize just how truly fragile and beautiful life is. Because, the reality is, we're all terminal."