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This I Believe

KUHF-Houston Public Radio’s “This I Believe” with Sybil Klein

Sybil was born in New Jersey but has spent most of her life in Houston. She attended Bellaire High School and the University of Houston. She became an English teacher and spent many years in the classroom. These days, Sybil spends her time writing novels, traveling with her husband and enjoying her life. A near-death experience several years ago gave her a new perspective about everything.


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Sybil’s near-death experience occurred more than 30 years ago and it remains a landmark event, but it’s not what defines her. In addition to writing novels, Sybil is an artist and a painter. She enjoys the theatre…both on stage and off. Sybil is married to Mervin Klein, M.D. They have a daughter and three dogs.

Sybil Klein’s essay for KUHF’s This I Believe is about redemption. It’s about her belief borne from a transformative experience. It’s about a second-chance at life delivered by a total stranger. Sybil believes it’s about an angel sent by God.

“I believe in spiritual beings, attendants of God called angels and I also believe in second chances.

My belief was first born on November 11th, 1970.

On that fateful day, my life changed forever. I had a long day at Dulles High School and was to attend a birthday party in Victoria that night. Despite being tired after teaching, I made the 100-mile drive to Victoria. The party lasted well into the night. Instead of spending the night, I headed back home to Sugar Land. It was a stupid mistake.

When I reached Wharton, I was tired. A light rain had begun to fall obscuring the view. The sound of Jimmy Webb songs mixing with the repetitive movement of the windshield wipers and my exhaustion all resulted in me falling asleep behind the wheel.

My Buick Skylark convertible crashed full-speed into a tree. My body hurled, unbelted, onto an unfinished concrete road. My whole world seemed to be a geometric design of chrome and blood, steel and skin.

At that very moment, a football player at Wharton Junior College was at a Dairy Queen a quarter mile back. He thought he heard a boom…or some kind of explosion. He ran out of the restaurant and toward the crash. Thinking, “God, don’t make it bad. Please don’t make it bad.” He encountered an unrecognizable human being…a bloody assemblage of flesh. He removed his jacket and cradled me in his arms, all the while trying to flag down some help.

“Don’t leave me. Please don’t do it”…I heard him say…and then everything went dark.

Looking back, dispassionately, after a year of surgeries and therapies, medications and pain, questioning God as to why? … I know a graceful answer. I believe God sent me an angel that night. I also believe I received a second chance at life.”