My Dad, the Hero

My father, sister & I are standing in front of a taxi cab in the Dhahran ARAMCO compound where we lived. I was 7. My sister 4. We are wearing matching sailor dresses as we are about to embark on an adventure as we travel and return to the States.
My younger sister stands close to our dad, as I strike a silly dramatic pose.

When we lived in Saudi Arabia, there was a chemical leak at the refinery in Dhahran. The chemical when inhaled caused immediate paralysis of all body functions. Rather than risk anyone else’s life, my father inhaled deeply, climbed the ladder to the valve to close the leak, and on his way down gasped. At that point, he had no vitals. He could not breathe. His heart had stopped. The Arabs working under his supervision, carried him to safety and resuscitated him.

At the time, my mother, sister and I were in the US visiting my maternal grandparents. My mother knew something was wrong at the exact time that the accident occurred. She called ARAMCO asking what is wrong with my husband, what had happened. She was always able to sense things like that, as if she’s psychic.

My father is convinced that what he experienced while dead, while his body functions had stopped, was heaven. He felt like he was floating on a cloud. My parents both strongly believe that he had gone to heaven and come back.


28 responses to “My Dad, the Hero”

  1. Thank you. Wonderful to hear that you and your mother shared such a special bond and that she was your hero!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    My mom and I were like that with each other. We always knew when something was wrong with the other…when we needed the other.
    She was my hero…for other reasons.
    What your father did was amazing!

  3. I think the sense is broader. But, in this instance she knew there was something seriously wrong with my father. She would call me up when I was a young adult and ask, “What’s wrong?” It always blew me away that she knew when something was wrong. At the same time, I managed to hide my depression from her and my father when I was 18, or at least I tried to hide it from them.

  4. Thank you, Billy.

  5. Yes. They are very real. So sorry for the loss of your friend and his mother.

  6. No after-effects that I’m aware of. Thank you for the complement to both me and to my parents. What’s amazing is that for many years while I was in my twenties I felt anger towards them, not realizing how deeply they loved me, blaming them for my depression.

  7. Thank you, Leslie. I have no doubt that your grandfather did call out to your cousin when your grandmother died. Some are more sensitive and open to communication from heaven. It is important that we do stop long enough to hear God. Even if God is silent, that silence touches our soul.

  8. True. They lead by example.

  9. Hello Kitt, what your mom and dad have is a very special gift. Was your mom only able to sence danger or was the connection broader?

    In my case it is not limited to nde experiences.

  10. That’s so cool. Indeed a hero, quiet and with no fanfare :). And yes, connections are real!

  11. He is indeeed a hero, people like him make this world better.

  12. Wow. Fascinating. And he was indeed a hero. ☺

  13. Very compelling. A friend of mine died a few years back and before anyone found out he was gone, his mother stood up at the breakfast table, grabbed her heart, said, “Oh!” and died instantly. His family all believed she somehow knew what had happened to him. Connections. They are real.

  14. Did your dad suffer any after-effects? So frightening.

    My mom’s family has the same kind of psychic connection. We pay attention to dreams, which can be seen as prophetic if you interpret them that way.

    Your parents passed on their abilities to you, Kitt. Your dad, his heroic mien, your mom, her sensitivity.

  15. When my grandmother died in Pennsylvania, my cousin, who lives in Arizona, woke to the sound of my grandfather’s voice calling her name. My grandfather had passed away three weeks prior. I believe in God and I believe that he does communicate if we choose to stop long enough to hear.

    What your father did was amazing and makes him worthy of the title hero.

  16. “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom

  17. Hello, my Friend and Neighbor. I agree with you; –‘Your/Dad is your hero!’ Very powerful message. Please continue to stay-“UnLemoment.” lee

  18. I’m 52. I do not know which year exactly, for I was too young to remember the incident. I only recall my parents recounting the story throughout my life. The photo was taken shortly before I turned 7, so that would be ’69. We lived in Saudi Arabia from ’65 to ’69. My sister was born in Dhahran. My parents considered naming her Jamila, which means beautiful in Arabic. I always envied her beauty.

  19. I am fascinated with the ideas of consciousness, NDEs, and intuition. What year was this? I’m 55 and I think your last birthday you were 53? My dad worked for Shell Oil since 1947 and a friend of his took a job at Aramco in Saudi Arabia in the early 70s. Great stuff!

  20. We are kindred spirits! 😉

  21. I don’t think my mom connects with the dead, she just senses what’s going on with her husband and daughters.

    Totally cool about Dr. Moody. Weird coincidence that I write this post as you plan to write about Moody & NDEs.

  22. Wow, Kitt!!! This is all new to me….and get this, my dear friend: this weekend I’ve been planning to write about Dr. Raymond Moody, the psychiatrist who pioneered the term “NDE” and who wrote the bestselling book “Life after Life” – I think it has sold 12 million copies.

    I was stunned to learn that he just moved to Santa Cruz, he’s teaching at UCSC, my alma mater, this fall & next year too. He’s teaching at the exact college I attended (there are 10)

    Guess who is taking Dr. Moody’s NDE class in 2016? Yep. I arranged it with my college provost. I’ve read all his books, I’ve been fascinated with him & his work for years, and I’m going to meet him! 🙂

    That’s amazing that your Mom sensed that your father was in trouble. Your father’s courage was remarkable…..and what a beautiful-sounding experience your Dad had once he was “gone”. I’m so glad he made it through…

    I believe in mediums/psychics although I’ve never had a personal experience. It’s a dream of mine to meet with someone who can connect me with my Dad and if it happens it would be lovely, but I don’t obsess about it as much as I did right after Dad died.


  23. Kitt, what a wonderful connection your parent’s had. Yes, I would say your mother has a special gift. Lovely way to put it. 🙂 🙂 <3

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