Book, written by McFarland mom before breast cancer death, unveiled

Book, written by McFarland mom before breast cancer death, unveiled

“Cards for Brianna: A Mom’s Messages of Living, Laughing, and Loving as Time Is Running Out,” a book authored in part by Heather McManamy, a McFarland woman who died in December of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 36, was revealed Sunday as part of a book signing in Madison.

The book chronicles cards McManamy wrote to her 4-year-old daughter Brianna, envisioning milestones Brianna will experience as she grows up and becomes an adult.

“She wanted to make sure that Bri always had a piece of her mom through all the milestones in her life,” Jeff McManamy, Heather’s husband, said. “She has all the way out to a retirement card for Bri.”

Heather McManamy sat down with News 3 photojournalist Kathy King in October, two months before she succumbed to cancer. In it, McManamy described how she was choosing to live her final days.

“Jeff and I made a decision,” Heather McManamy said. “We were going to live, and we were going to appreciate each day as we had it.”

Jeff McManamy said “Cards for Brianna” is about that outlook on life. He said he hopes it gives others the inspiration they need to make every day matter.

“It’s really a book about how to live every day, as much as you can, laugh more, and love more,” Jeff McManamy said.

Heather McManamy co-authored the book with William Croyle, who specializes in writing inspirational books.

“She quoted Jim Valvano, the old coach at North Carolina State who died of cancer and said, ‘If every day you think and you laugh and you cry, it’s a full day,'” Croyle said. “She did that with me. Every single day, it was laughing, crying, thinking.”

Jeff McManamy said he hopes the book will ensure Brianna’s mother always remains in her heart.

“I want her to look back and say she remembers her mom and she remembers who she was and how spectacular she was,” he said. “(Heather) would be proud. She would be very proud.”

The book can be purchased through Amazon as well as at the Room of One’s Own bookstore in Madison.