Though the end of your life may be near, it doesn't mean you have to stop living
After being diagnosed in her early thirties with terminal breast cancer, Heather McManamy felt like her life was crumbling. Her "normal" vanished―and was replaced with multiple surgeries and dozens of chemo treatments that could briefly extend her life, but would not prevent her inevitable death. With an effervescent spirit and a new perspective, Heather started to live each day as if it were her last. She learned to soak in the moment, appreciate the beauty around her, and celebrate her blessings. She also pondered her daughter's future journey without her mother―and gracefully prepared for it.
Heather began to write greeting cards to Brianna. Cards for her first day of school, her sixteenth birthday, her wedding day. Cards for when things were going right and when they were going wrong. Cards for when Brianna would need her mother―whether in five years or in fifty years-and Heather wouldn't be able to be there for her. Cards for Brianna is the story of one mother's powerful love for her young daughter and Heather's unmatched experiences, laced with laughter and charm, are a reminder to never take a single day for granted.
“So…I have some good news and some bad news,” Heather McManamy wrote in a note her husband, Jeff, posted on https://www.facebook.com/heather.mcmanamy/posts/10153176115305951
The 36-year-old Wisconsin mother, who died of terminal cancer on December 15, 2015, will live on in a memoir she finished just hours before her death.
Cards for Brianna: A Mom’s Messages of Living, Laughing, and Loving as Time Is Running Out (ISBN: 9781492642138; APRIL 12, 2016; $14.99 U.S.; Memoir; Trade Paper) is a celebration of her love for her four-year-old daughter, as well as her unwillingness to let death stand in the way of their relationship.
McManamy, who was originally diagnosed with stage 2 cancer in April 2013, was told the following year that her diagnosis was terminal. She captured headlines around the world when she began writing greeting cards to her daughter Brianna to share advice and celebrate all of the significant milestones she would miss: first day of school, birthdays, wedding day, and even her retirement.
The cards also cover everyday occasions, such as when Brianna needs encouragement, hope or help getting over a breakup. There are 70 in all.
The book, which was co-authored with William Croyle, will feature short excerpts from some of Brianna’s cards, Heather’s thoughts about life, love and cancer, and a variety of photos.
A portion of the proceeds from print book sales in April 2016 will benefit METAvivor - a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that funds research for metastatic cancer.
”Seriously, thank you to everyone who convinced me that this was one of those YOLO! opportunities I simply had to go for,” McManamy said in a Facebook post about the book. “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 recevied a complimentary copy.
Cassandra's review- With this tour I was sent a special greeting card in which I could send it to anyone I wanted, but it was to be someone I loved and appreciated. I thought for a long time and still it sits on my table as a reminder of all of those people who I was not able to send it to due to death or departed ways.
I know that sounds terrible, but it is beautiful to me and I will eventually frame it for my wall and leave it blank so that one day my children can take it down and send it off if they want to.
The book was so sad and heartfelt that even with tissues on standby my cheeks were actually burning from tears. The whole concept is so super sad. To know that this woman died and still lives on for her little one is beautiful and touching, but to me incredibly sad.
When I have personally struggled with beating Cancer more than once, and sit and think about not being here for my family as a single mom it just put me in a very solemn place. I hope that anyone who takes the time to purchase a copy of this really sits and spends time with it and then share it with someone super special to you.