A Mother’s Love Is Forever
When you have kids, so many things change. And some of those changes can be quite surprising. For example, I remember that after I had my first daughter, I suddenly became increasingly aware of my own mortality. I’d never really given death much thought before, but after kids, I sometimes find myself going round in round in my head about what life would be like for my family if I suddenly died.
Fellow mom, Heather McManamy, is abundantly aware of her mortality as well. But that’s because she knows her time here on earth is coming to a close. Heather has been battling breast cancer for several years, and her case has been deemed terminal. While she doesn’t know exactly how long she has to live, she does know her time is limited.
Credit: Buzz Feed
And so she will spend what time she has left making the most of her days. But she can’t help to think about what life will be like for her family after she’s gone. She says:
“It was beyond heartbreaking to know that my daughter and husband would be sad when I passed and there was nothing I could do to comfort them.”
And so, she’s decided to do something about that. And what’s she planning to leave behind for her 4-year-old daughter, Brianna, is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Heather has started to create a memory box for her daughter. She is filling it with cards, letters, videos, etc. -- all for Brianna’s future milestones. There are cards to commemorate important moments Heather will miss, such as birthdays, graduations, Brianna’s wedding day and so on. But there are also some everyday messages like Mommy loves you, you are beautiful, get well, etc.
She’s already up to 40 memories for the box. And the project is helping to bring her a sense of peace. Heather has definitely not given up on a miracle. But she also recognizes that God is helping to prepare her for leaving this world. She says:
“Most people just die and that’s it. I have been given the gift of time to prepare. To do whatever I can to make this easier on my family.”
It relieves Heather to know that the box will always be there for her daughter. She knows there is a chance that Brianna will not read all of the cards, and that’s ok. Just knowing she’s been able to leave something behind to help comfort her family once she’s gone is enough.
We know that life here is temporary. That doesn’t mean that losing loved ones is easy. But it does mean that the grief and suffering we experience is temporary as well. From the day we were born, God started preparing a place for us with Him in Heaven. And this means that in the face of suffering and loss, there is also hope.
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50
This dying mom's final wish is for her nurse to adopt her child.