Don’t forget to Knock

June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today I’m feeling helpless

I’m here in Florida

With my Nana

She’s been in ICU for several weeks

Double Pneumonia and other problems

They put a ventilator tube down her throat

It’s hard to imagine

Being awake…fully conscious

With a tube down your throat

Her lips are cracked and bloody

The inside of her mouth swollen and dry

Every day I go to the hospital

I sit there beside her bed

I use the mouth moisturizer the hospital has

Apply it to her lips being careful to go around the tube

Wet a washcloth and pat her forehead and face with it

Put lotion on her hands– bruised and swollen

Use the dry spray  shampoo and comb her hair

My Nana was a beautician

Hair and nails are important to her

So I sit there and rub her hands with lotion

Do her nails

Comb her hair

But none of it matters

Because I’m just doing things to be doing them

So I can feel productive

So I can distract myself from the terror in her eyes

The tears that sometimes roll down her cheeks

Today they put her hands in restraints

Because when she wakes up, she gags from the tubes

The ones giving her nutrition

The ventilator

And like any of us would

Tries to yank them out because it must feel like it’s choking her

I had this big idea I was going to come out here

And make a difference

That was my goal

Because my Nana has done a lot for me

She bought me my first car when I was 16

She paid off my student loan when I got my Masters degree

She gave me money for the down payment on my first home

She helped me through my divorce

There’s more

Just too much to list

And now here I am

Thinking somehow that this time would be different

That this time because I wasn’t trapped in my body

Unable to fly

That it would be different

And yet I find myself feeling just as helpless as before

Because nothing I do seems to help

I can see her frustration

She tries to tell me things

But I can’t make them out

I want to help

And another part of me wants to escape

Because it’s so painful

I stay in her condo at night

The one I remember coming to all my life growing up

And in it are reminders of my mother

Because before she died, she would stay in the condo

So when I came here

I found clothes that belong to my Mom

And even notes that Mom had left

Post it notes to remind herself of things

Like “turn off the lights” or “lock the door”

But today

When I was driving home from the hospital

I was crying in the car

Asking God why…just why

Not even anything specific

Just why the suffering….why the helplessness?

Why can’t I just do one thing right?

One thing to make a difference?

And all I could think of was this

Mom would know what to do

Mom would know what to say

Mom would be able to handle this

It was Mom who took care of Nana

But now she’s gone

And it’s just my brother and me

And I just cried

Because this is a situation that needs MOM

Then I walked in the door of the condo tonight

And there next to the door

Was another post it note

One Mom must have left at some point

For a repair man maybe

I’ve been in and out of that door every day for the last week

But I didn’t see it until now

There it was

Her words

Her handwriting


I couldn’t believe it

I just stared at it for a minute


How had I not seen that one before?

And call me crazy

But I walked all over the condo knocking on the walls

Knocking on every door in the house

Yelling MOM !!!!!!


I knew as I was doing it that it was crazy

I’m sure the neighbors think so

But as I sat down in the chair at the dining room table

I looked at the post it and realized

It’s not crazy at all

Because all the way home I had cried out to God to help me

Help me feel less helpless

And all the way home I talked to myself about Mom

And how if Mom was here she could handle it

How this was a situation that called for MOM

And then I walked in the door

And there was the answer

I am here

Knock LOUD

And it reminded me of Luke 11:5-9

Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

“But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

“Here’s what I’m saying:

Ask and you’ll get;
Seek and you’ll find;
Knock and the door will open.

And I realized that while I felt helpless all day

And a little miffed that God doesn’t seem to be hearing me when I pray

And that my Mom isn’t here to handle things

I realized that the opposite was true

Because my Mom might not be here…exactly

But she did leave me a Post it Note

Reminding me that she really IS here

And so is God

But sometimes you have to knock



And not give up

Wake the neighbors if you have to

And so that’s what I’ll do

I may still cry in the car on the way to and from the hospital

But I’ll keep knocking

And applying mouth moisturizer

And brushing her hair

And putting on lotion

Because it may not cure the problem

But she knows she’s not alone

And knowing you’re not alone

Is often exactly what we need

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Steelers6 June 18, 2012 at 4:57 am

Oh my, ya made me tear up. 🙂 I miss
my own mother so much also. I feel like
your Mom is there in YOU too. I’m so
glad you can be there for your grandmother.
Does your bro live in same town? It would
be nice if you could meet for lunch, or
Hang in there, dear girl.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm


My brother lives in Virginia and I live in Texas. He was the one who initially came out here but he had to go back to work. Thankfully now that I can fit on a plane I was able to come out here and do my part. I guess it’s a tag team situation 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind comments and I know how you feel about your mom 🙂
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Staci June 18, 2012 at 5:41 am

“He careth for you” enough to leave you a Post It note. He careth for your Nana enough to send you to be with her. He careth for your Mom enough to take her on to heaven, away from suffering. Hard to look at the situation that way, but wow, what a story you just told. It’s amazing. (((hugs))) I will say a prayer for you and your Nana here in just a bit as I turn in. Please keep us posted on the situation. I know this is super tough on you for numerous reasons. Love and hugs, Staci
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Wow Staci. That was exactly what I needed to hear. EXACTLY!!


Lana in MI June 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

Oh my…sat here and sobbed. I too need MOM so many times. Thanks for that. I mean it…I know my Mom is here w/ me too, yet there are times I just miss her and NEED her. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing, Holly. YOU ARE making a difference!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thanks Lana!! I know how you feel. And it’s nice to know others out there are experiencing the same thing 🙂


Linda Kuil June 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

You are doing exactly what you need to do- be there, by your nana’s side so she’s not alone. Comforting her the best you can so when and if her time comes she knows she wasn’t alone. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I’m sure I’d be as frustrated as you are about feeling helpless and even useless. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Keep knocking. God will answer.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thanks Linda!


Adelyn June 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

This is the most amazing post. You are such a blessing…to so many…
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Thanks Adelyn. That was something I needed to hear today.


Sandy June 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

Those little things you are doing–the moisturizer, the brushing, the touching–are more magical than any medication. And you being there is probably more calming to your grandmother than any other measure. I hope all turns out well for you and her. Keep on doing those little touches. Because she really does feel you. Some patients like to be read stories–maybe from a magazine–or you can just tell her memories of your mom and her and even what’s up with the kids. Your presence is her best medicine.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Thanks Sandy. Those are great ideas. Thank you so much


Elizabeth June 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

This is a beautiful post and I’m sorry for all you’ve endured, but I’m so glad you found that note to remind you that you aren’t alone in all of this..May the time you have with your nana be filled with joy among the sorrows and peace among the frustration. Hang in There! 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Thanks Elizabeth!


Trish @I_am_Succeeding June 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Thanks Trish!


Amanda June 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

She will always be with you to help you through things. The people we love live on in our hearts for always. And you ARE making a difference. Your nana isn’t alone in that hospital and that makes all the difference in the world.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thanks Amanda!


Vicky June 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Wow…just Wow…

What a wonderful thing you are doing for your grandmother and how wonderful it is that your mother is still comforting you even though she can’t be with you physically. My prayers are with you and your grandmother…


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Vicky!


Heather June 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Hi … Yes, your mother is there. She’s watching over you. 😀

As far as your Nana is concerned …. you are doing all the right things. Don’t ever forget that. Talk to her even when she’s not awake, do all the things that are important to her. She probably treasures every minute that you are spending with her, because you will certainly treasure those minutes and never forget them.

God Bless you and your Nana.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

You’re right Heather. Thanks!


Margaret aka The Brown Recluse June 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

As I started reading this post, I knew I would be commenting, usually, I only read…but everything I wanted to say, you said so much more and so much better. I cried…I admired your faith…and most of all, I wanted to tell you that you do, indeed, make a difference. A very big one.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thank you Margaret!! I know what effort it takes to leave a comment too so that was really kind of you to do. Thank you SO much!!!


Dawn June 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

WOW! Thanks for making me cry and laugh at the same time. Now I need to reapply my eyeliner and mascara. LOL. God has blessed you with an amazing gift! Keep your chin up and know that you are being comforted with prayers from around the world.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Oh Dawn you made me laugh! Thank you!!


Tammy June 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Sometimes life is not comfortable but we get through it and it makes us stronger. Being there for your grandmother and the gentle touches are probably exactly what she needs. Your helping more than you may think. Best wishes for you and your nana.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thanks Tammy!!


Jessica June 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Holly you post brings tears to my eyes. I live in Idaho and my mother lives in Tennessee and I returned home yesterday from a visit with her. You see she is 62 and in icu suffering from lung cancer that is untreatable. She has the tubes, the ventilator And is sedated. She knows I was there but could not speak. I have 5 children of my own and had to return to them. So I sit here, helpless as I wait for the call. Her prognosis is not good and she is on life support. Today a decision will be made. I am thinking of you and your nana as the emotions are all too familiar.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Oh this just breaks my heart to hear, Jessica. I am SO sorry to hear about your mother. And I can say I really understand what you’re going through too. I understand your dilemma about needing to go back for the children. Soon this will be what happens here as well since I have 4 children and I must go back too. It is so tough to be torn and takes strength to just keep putting one foot in from of the other during these times. I also had to sit and wait for the call when my Mom was in ICU. I really really relate to what you’re going through. I’m praying for you. Strength, comfort and mercy. God bless you!!!


Lynne June 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Holly – Don’t minimize what you’re doing – Providing love and comfort at a very scary time for your Nana are the most important things you can do! Your’re a gift to her! God has given you a gift in the privilege of ministering to her. Take care of yourself, too, as best you can. Peace, Lynne.
PS. Your mom may have been a strong, graceful lady – but I think you’re challenging her for that award…and she would be so proud 🙂


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Thank you Lynne!! What sweet kind words to hear at the end of a very long day at the hospital. Thank you so much!


Katie June 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there! Your Nana is not alone because YOU are there. You are serving her! I’m sure your Nana wants nothing more than you just being there, beside her in this time of need!

You are not just only there for Nana, but you are here for those who read your blog! I know that there are days when I’m down, and I feel helpless, or alone, and I come to your blog, and I read it.. and it picks me up, your words remind me that God is here! God uses you in a mighty way, you reach the world!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

That is music to my ears. It really really made my day. Thank you so much Katie!


lori June 19, 2012 at 12:45 am

I can’t imagine the pain and loneliness that you feel right now, but please don’t believe that you don’t make a difference. You DO! Your Nana knows you are with her. She feels you when you lotion her hands. She knows you love her and are doing everything possible to make her comfortable. She doesn’t expect you to take away the tubes, or take away the pain. Please don’t add to your burden by thinking badly of yourself. It is simply not true.
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Leigh Costa June 19, 2012 at 3:06 am

This brings back the memories of being with my mom when she passed. There was nothing I could do to make her suffering easier, except be there for her. You are making a HUGE difference to your Nana, even if you think that what your doing is inconsequential. Being with my mom during her final moments on earth was one of the hardest, but most important moments of my life. You are a great grand daughter and should be proud of the strength you’re displaying!
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Trisha June 19, 2012 at 3:24 am

Holly, last September my momma almost died again (5th time since 2007) and they had to intubate her for the first time, because her lungs weren’t strong enough to function on their own to give her body what it needed….. and they had to tie her wrists down, too – because she would wake up and try and pull out her tubes…. I know what it’s like to sit there and feel so helpless…. but i did the same things you did…. i brushed her hair… I used the big weird q-tip looking thing to moisturize her lips…. i applied lotion to her dry hands and arms….. when she was more lucid we were able to somewhat write notes back and forth on a notebook to try and communicate… the first thing she wrote when i first brought out the notebook was: “this is my daughter. she is my best friend” – and showed it to the nurse. i will never forget that moment for as long as i live.

hugs and prayers for you and your grandma… xoxo


Kelly @CurvyFitGirl June 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

Oh Holly, once again you’ve managed to bring tears to my eyes! I am thinking of you and your entire family. The Universe is trying to tell you that there is always SOMETHING positive around the corner after what seems like an insurmountable tragedy. Whether it’s a post it note from your mother, or whatever it may be – YOU are always stronger than you may think!
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joy June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Wow – you are amazing! And you are so not alone!! He is with you!! What a wonderful gift you received from Him. Your love you show your Nana is received. You are making a difference to her, you are bringing comfort and love! How wonderful!

Stay focused!


Mercy June 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Those kinds of happenings make all the difference, don’t they? He’s always listening.
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Elizabeth June 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

amazing the signs that you get!! I know you feel helpless but I know your Nana is taking comfort in seeing you with her!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!! Hugs!
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Keith June 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Wow – that sounds like some hard times, good luck pulling through and I hope everyone is stronger for it.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks Keith!


Alison June 20, 2012 at 4:49 am

That’s amazing.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Alison!


Banded with Favor June 22, 2012 at 3:38 am

Holly, That is one of the best “Thank You Jesus” stories I have read in a long time…. Beautiful, made me cry because of your pain and heartbreak and also because God is a good God and He does hear us and Perfect is His timing??? Though I will be honest there are many times I think He is late!!! But I know, He truly is “On Time”…. I will keep your Nana in my prayers…blessings to you and lots of hugs xoxox Kristin


Gen November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I believe she wanted to tell you that she loves you and is proud of you and that you came all that way to see her.
Sometimes wanting to tell someone something you feel is important takes over….over logic at times…..over breathing tubes and distance and scratchy throats and fear.
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Alison June 9, 2015 at 8:32 pm

tears!!! this post, like many of your others, touched me so deeply. I lost my mom too & this just gives me chills. God Bless!


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