When Words Fail, She Had Faith to the End

As Janna Holm’s grandmother was dying of cancer, she lost her ability to speak. Instead of writing out normal messages, though, she began filling out index cards with seemingly random letters of the alphabet. She was leaving coded notes behind. Sadly, she passed away in 1996 after a two week battle with cancer. Over a decade passed before anyone decided to really look at her “ramblings.”

They weren’t nonsensical letters, after all. After a lot of studying and then posting the index cards online, someone was able to finally crack her code. Within 15 minutes of posting the image of her grandmother’s index card, Janna had her answer.

Index cards were filled with these letters. For years, her family didn’t understand what she was trying to say. It was discovered that each letter represented the beginning of a word. What did it say?

Upon discovering she was religious, a stranger online suggested it might be a prayer. Each letter represented the first letter of each word in a sentence. After some figuring, Janna realized that the short line seen on the front of the card (the 2nd image above) was an acronym for the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name… For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

That had bothered the family for over 20 years, and a stranger cracked it in just 15 minutes.

The back was more complicated, but it seemed to be an additional prayer from her grandmother, Dorothy Holm, to God as she passed away. It used the same “acronym” cypher, although it wasn’t solved completely. Here is a full transcript of what has been deciphered so far. The full words represent individual letters on the back of the card that have been solved while the capital letters are still currently unsolved:

Please keep us all safe and sound in mind and body, praise and glory Amen.
Please see that we are all happy and safe in our lives and in our work,
Please see that we ALOJTHTPATP,
Please see that we AGAOKWOCWAS and please see that we ADVGWAIIRARBOSAO,
Please see that we AHPPAAETWW,
Please see that we AHTPMAESTCWE.
Please see that all of us COOTIOWH all my prayers and please see that the pain does not hurt anymore,
Please see that we are all happy and safe, praise and glory Amen,
Please see that we are all in excellent health and please see that WARIEH.
Please see that TPAIDNBTVJEO any of us, praise and glory Amen.
Please see that we are HSAHVASASBTATWARHSFAOT,
Please see that we all HBPITNR see that none of the rest of us have to TBPM.
Please see that VCADAFLAFESJMPLGBGBMBA the rest of us RSSASFOHP.
Please see that WAGAVWWOA, praise and glory Amen.
Please see that EIFFAWAU.

Thank you Almighty God for PFG.
Thank you Almighty God for listening to my prayers and answering them.
Thank you Almighty God for everything, Amen.
Thank you Almighty God for everything, Amen Amen Amen

It’s stunning to see that a woman, in her final days, wasn’t just randomly writing letters on notecards, but creating a touching message straight from the heart. So, wanna crack the rest of the prayers?

The Christmas Story (According to Kids): Click “Next” below!

Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.