Fortunately, Mok was able to brace himself and avoid getting thrown from the car. He got a huge bump on the head and a nasty raspberry on his arm. I, however, did not fare so well — the back of my head was busted wide open, my nose was split open, my left eye was cut open and almost took out the eye, there was a gash under my right eye, my tail bone was cracked, and there was enough road rash to make any motorcycle rider cringe.
I remember coming to and not being able to see anything as my eyes were crammed with dirt and sand, and I had the worst headache of my life. My dad’s buddy (also named Bill) was one of the EMTs first on the scene, and he recognized the car and must have deduced that I had to have been Toms’ son.
He was talking to me and in usual “Billy Dibler” form, and I was trying to joke around and be a goof — not quite realizing just how close to death I was or even what had even happened, for that matter! I just remember him trying to be calm and keep me from moving too much.
Soon, the ambulance arrived and took Mok and I to the local hospital. I remember being strapped down to one of those boards they use, still not able to see anything, but I felt some packaging from some gauze they had left on my chest, so I grabbed it and blindly made a paper air plane out of it.
Other than that, I really don’t remember the next few hours outside of the fact that they had not cleaned any of the rocks and roadside debris from my head wound before strapping me and my head down. It was becoming very painful, as the rocks were digging into my exposed skull.
They didn’t want to unstrap me from the board until they X-rayed me, but they kept putting me off, so at one point after roughly 10-plus hours (and still unable to see) I began to freak out a bit and the nurse on duty came in and said, “Mr. Dibler, if you can’t calm down and act like a gentleman, I’m gonna make your mother leave.”
And before the last word even left her lips, my mother said, “B***h, I ain’t going anywhere, you get someone in here to do their job!” Within 10 minutes I was getting my X-rays. Fortunately, the X-rays showed that my neck was fine, so I was finally able to get unstrapped from that God-awful board and have my head and face cleaned.
At some point, my buddy Mark and his girlfriend came in and had to do an immediate 180 because of how gruesome I looked. Joyce had finally arrived and was escorted to me. She thought they had the wrong room because what she saw looked nothing like the Billy she had last seen.
As the doctor began to stitch me up, my mom’s friend took my hand and said, “If it hurts, just squeeze my hand.” A few seconds later, in a rather labored voice she said, “Wow, you have an extremely strong grip!” as I darn near crushed her hand!
Finally, after Lord knows how many hours, I was cleaned up, stitched up and sent home. I remember going outside the next day and seeing the mangled remains of my car in our driveway and I was just filled with rage. I grabbed one of the fiberglass fenders and threw it as far as I could, and I somehow managed to crawl my way to the top of the car and I jumped up and down on it cursing at it the whole time.
After my angry tirade, I brokenly hobbled my way back to the house. It would take a while, but I eventually began to realize that God didn’t “let me wreck.” He saved my life and protected me from what could have been a lot worse. He still had a plan for me and wasn’t about to let me go just yet.
After a couple of months, I began to realize just how lucky I was and how life can be lost in a moment, so I decided that I wasn’t gonna waste any more of that time. So I began to devise a plan — a plan that would change the course of my life forever, a plan that would take guts, courage and faith.
So after confiding in my parents and telling them what I had in mind, I began to put it into motion — I was going to ask Joyce to marry me!!!!
To be continued …