Tears: Mom fills out greeting card for every stage of her daughter's future
Heather McManamy, of McFarland, Wisconsin, has been fighting hard ever since April of 2013, when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. But even after undergoing numerous chemotherapy treatments and major surgeries, the cancer spread. Now, as Heather continues to battle for her life, she’s also embarked on heart-wrenching project to ensure her four-year-old daughter, Brianna, will feel loved during every single stage of her life.
When Heather, 35, found out last year that her cancer was terminal, she started making greeting cards for the major milestones in Brianna’s future. “I did them from when she’s older or younger — random encouragement, bad day, wedding, driver license, even first breakup,” Heather told ABC News. But she hopes that she will be able to give out as many of them in person as possible. “Every one of these that I get to hand out in person will be an accomplishment,” she added.
The greeting cards — over 40 of them in total, as of now — are not only meant to help Brianna through her life without her mother, but to help Heather cope with the fact that she might not be there to watch her baby girl grow up.
Along with a photo of the cards, she posted the following note on Instagram: “A lifetime’s worth of birthday, congratulations, encouragement, graduation, wedding, first lost tooth, first car, baby, first house, first everything cards for Bri. Done. Here’s to hoping I get to hand-deliver a few.”
“They’re like this physical representation of ‘this is all of the stuff I’m going to miss,'” Heather explained to ABC News. “I’m going to miss everything and I never like missing anything. I’m always the last one to leave the party.”
She recently finished Brianna’s 30th birthday card, and says that all the notes contain advice, jokes and wishes for her daughter’s happiness.
Heather has also created videos for Brianna to watch when she’s older. She knows, though, that her family will be OK without her. “My husband and I have been together for 13 years and we have a really special relationship,” she told ABC News. “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.”
But the ultimate thing she wants her daughter to know? She’s loved, no matter what, and she deserves a happy life. “I don’t care what she does in her life,” she added. “I just want her to find her happiness. Life is short. If she’s true to herself, everything will be OK.”
The family also set up a GoFundMe called “Making Brianna-Mommy Memories,” dedicated to raising money not for treatment, but for creating a proper goodbye for the family. The fundraiser, which has raised over $28,000 as of now, allowed the family to go on a trip to Disney World (where Brianna dressed like Snow White) and erect a memorial in their favorite park, Olbirch Gardens.
“I want her to always know that I did everything I could possibly do to be here,” she told WMTV.
We’re utterly moved to tears and inspired by Heather’s bravery, care and kindness. If you want to help the McManamy family, you can donate to their GoFundMe here.
(Images via Instagram)