No one else would be calling this late. I should have left the office hours before, which meant it could only be one person. The ringing seemed amplified, as if the phone itself was shouting at me to pick up.

I naturally assumed my wife Cindy was a little annoyed at my thoughtlessness, and our two young boys, Billy and Nick, were anxious for me to arrive home. It was a warm summer night in early July 1986, and here I was wasting valuable family time at work.

Anticipating Cindy’s displeasure, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and picked up the phone. I didn’t even say hello. Never had the chance. The instant the receiver was lifted, I heard Cindy’s frantic voice telling me she had just been in a car accident.