When my mother Dorothy Harp Ringsdorf (pictured here with my father, John Eugene Ringsdorf, Sr.) was in Mercy Hospital with inoperable terminal colon cancer, my sister Phyllis, her husband Sam Deramo, Larry and I wanted to pray with her. We had prayed for healing, but felt something was missing. Each time I went to see her, there were people all around.
One morning as I was just waking, the thought occurred to me in a powerful way to call Mom on the phone before visiting hours started and ask her if she and I could pray over the phone. I did that and she agreed. I asked if I could lead her in a prayer inviting Jesus into her heart. "Yes," she said. And so we prayed, "Jesus, forgive all my sins. Come into my heart and take control of my life. Free me from the snares of Satan and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Amen."
That was in November of 1985. She died on January 7, 1986 with her family at her bedside praying prayers, singing hymns, telling her she was loved, and thanking her for all she did for us. We also recounted a lot of the funny family stories and laughed. Although she was in a coma, I believe she heard us. Just before she took her last breath, my father told her it was okay for her to leave us and go with Jesus. She smiled and died.
I was always grateful for the Lord's leading me to make that phone call that morning in November. I needed that spiritual bonding to my mother. It was as much for me as for her.