Monday, August 16, 2021

Did I Inherit My Father's 'Guardian Angel?'

A Wyoming oil rig worker recalls his father's warning call by a 'Guardian Angel,' which may have saved his life. He later experienced a similar warning. Was it an inherited 'Guardian Angel?'

I recently received the following account:

"In the early 1980’s, before I was born, my dad was working in the oil fields in Wyoming. He was a Gauger, driving around to different remote facilities recording gauge levels and reporting them back to the company.

He was at one site where he had to climb on top of a tank to read a gauge. He had just climbed to the top and was about the read the gauge when he clearly heard someone call out his name, “Mike!” Thinking it was odd because he thought he was completely alone and hadn’t heard another truck pull up, he shouted back, “Up here!” There was no response. Again he turned to read the gauge when he heard it again, “Mike!” He decided to climb down and see who was looking for him.

Just as his head lowered down the ladder past the top of the tank he heard a loud pop followed by glass raining down on top of him. He climbed back up to find that the gauge he was about to read and record had exploded. It probably would have blinded him, maybe worse. Possibly even caused him to fall from the tall tank.

He was shaken to say the least, even more so when he found that he was absolutely alone at the location. He searched high and low. No one was there. There was really nowhere to hide, and most of all there were no other fresh vehicle tracks on the dirt road leading in.

After hearing this story, my mother convinced him to quit his job. She had never liked that he was always out in the middle of nowhere with no one else around, and considered this close-call a warning. She said next time his 'Guardian Angel' might not be so blatant.

Fast forward over 20 years. Having all but forgotten my dad’s story and subsequent career change, I found myself working in the oil field, as a Derrick Hand on a directional drilling rig. It’s miserable work but the pay is excellent. I was finally heading home after a long, freezing week on the monkey board, driving by myself with the radio turned off so I could concentrate on navigating the frozen, winding mountain road.

Suddenly, as plain as day, as loud as a normal conversation, a voice from the backseat of my truck calmly said my name, “John.” My heart jumped into my throat and I slammed the brakes, sliding to a stop in the middle of the road. I turned around and looked in the backseat as all of the hairs on my body stood straight up, half expecting to find a coworker who had picked an unfortunate place to take a nap back at the drilling location.

Nothing. Nothing and no one.

Unlike my dad’s story, mine did not have an immediately apparent reason behind it. No truck came barreling in the wrong lane around the corner, no avalanche fell onto the road where I would have been had I not stopped. But, it took me awhile to get my bearings and wits about me enough to begin driving again. I probably spent 10 or 15 minutes staring at the backseat of my truck, even digging through the week’s laundry and searching my cooler for a rogue walkie-talkie or any explanation that could have resulted in what I heard.

I will always wonder, had I not stopped, if some tragedy might have befell me later on the trip home. I’ll never know." JJ

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