Three years ago today I received a call that has forever changed my life.

On Jan. 4, 2008, my cousin called me to tell me that my father had been seriously injured on his way to work and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

I still remember me trying to grasp the complexity of what has happened.  My father was crossing the street in front of his job on Jan. 4, 2008, on his way to work when he was hit by an automobile.

Nothing can ever prepare you for the phone call to tell you that someone has been injured.

Some people can instantly recall where they were when JFK was shot, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and what they were doing the morning of Sept. 11, 2001? I remember the morning of Jan. 4, 2008, as clearly as if it were yesterday.

I often think of my dad, the music he and my mom played while I was growing up, the Sci-Fi movies we watched, going to the movies to see E.T., the time I got dizzy on the tea-cups at Keansburg Amusement Park and us playing Pokeno with family. I even chuckle when he tried to give me a hard time about walking late into the evening while I was abroad a semester in Spain.  It’s funny since I moved away from home to go to college at 18 and then moved to Texas at 20. I was 27 while in Spain.

I tried to remind him something I would share with others who asked me how my parents would allow me to move so far away from them at a young age. I shared something that my parents taught me through actions and not directly in these words.

You teach your children right from wrong. You help guide their decisions and instill in them the values that you hope will help make them strong individuals. So, it doesn’t matter where you live or they live, your children will carry those lessons with them.

I guess it was his parental duty to be worried about me. I’ll give him that. I cherish those memories and hold onto them as I live with the impact Jan. 4, 2008, has played in my life on a daily basis.