The Protected Motorcycle Enthusiast
(Story of Bruce Green, Saskatoon, SK.)
His mother already had four children when Bruce Green was born. To minimize a stressful time for his parents and siblings, baby Bruce was placed sleeping in a breadbasket and taken by an uncle to his grandparent's home in Ontario. Three years later, as a little boy now, he rejoined his family in Glen Ewan, Saskatchewan. It was difficult for Bruce to discover his place in the family at first but he found his way.
Growing up, his mother saw to it that the family was in church on Sundays. They walked there with the six children staying side-by-side in pairs. Though Bruce had fond memories of his walks to church, Sunday School, and his Grandpa's Bible, he would not come to know the Lord personally for many years after.
He became interested in drafting in grade nine, and by grade ten was allowed to attend a technical collegiate to study drafting. One month later, at 17, Bruce joined the army. There he found himself in the Army Engineers, planning and repairing airports as a draftsman in England and later, in Europe. Bruce can recount various stories of close calls and difficult situations. For instance, building roads to circumvent towns, and building bridges just in advance of Patton's Tank Battalions.
Setting up a drafting desk became impossible due to the number of his Battalion moves, and so the position of draftsman was terminated. However, dispatch riders were needed, and he felt confident enough to volunteer. By that time he could ride quite well. At one point Bruce took a bike up a mountain. Coming back down, at full speed, he met a USA convoy cutting a left turn in front of the motorcycle's path. To try to brake would cause an accident sure to kill him. So Bruce hung on without touching his brakes, and sliced between the trucks unscathed. He stopped when he could and knew for the first time in his life that there was a God for He had miraculously protected him as he passed through that convoy.
Bruce was young and bold and had close calls like that so often he almost began to expect them. Nine lives were not just for cats. He seemed to be destined to live. At the Battle of the Bulge, his Engineering Battalion was again attached to Patton's tank core, and helping to build bridges as the enemy forces tried to push on to Amsterdam from the Rhine River. He was a tailrider at the end of a sixty-vehicle convoy when he drove into a muddy rutted road where low loader tank carriers had cut the road into streams of mud, rain, and sleet. With more low loaders to come, he should have been crushed in the mud, but he came through by throwing his bike back and free of the ditch, only to try to cross again after losing his own convoy. God was there again. Bruce got out with only a wrenched knee but a deepened awareness of God's presence.
The minute the war was over he volunteered to go to Japan. His group came back to Canada to be re-outfitted in June 1945. They were trained in R.C.E. in Pettawawa, Ontario for the war in Japan. He was still on leave when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima ending that war. Therefore Bruce was discharged in 1946.
He began to work at Weldon's Concrete in Saskatoon, and became General Manager for a period of 10 years. During this time, he married and had four wonderful children and also became a businessman. Bruce sat on boards at the Y.M.C.A. and was the church choir soloist, and a member of various business and community associations. A major Construction player bought out his business, and he became a Division Manager for that same national construction firm.
The family life in Saskatoon saw the four children doing well in school. Bruce and his wife's entertainment was found by hosting or attending weekend parties. He and his wife both felt discontented even while they went for counseling and joined some self help groups. Finally, after 26 years of marriage, Bruce up and left his family in 1978. At the time of this crisis, his children chose to follow Christ.
Upon being transferred to Head Office in Calgary, Bruce became part of the management team at LaFarge Inc. and got involved in a United Church across the street from his apartment, and was soon involved in choir and various church committees. But his life was still unfulfilled.
His one remaining pleasure was motorcycling. In 1982, he owned a 650 Triumph and decided to go to Saskatoon the Thanksgiving weekend. On the Monday morning, heading back to Calgary, he had a premonition of trouble and stopped in Delisle to top up fuel and oil. He made it through Kindersley and was about 30 miles beyond Oyen, Alberta when he smelled burning oil. Bruce was riding in the right traffic lane, while checking for the oil leak and feared potential fire. His front wheel hit the gravel on the shoulder, flipping both bike and rider. As this happened, his head hit the windshield. The bike went 85 feet one way, and he flew 50 feet after it.
The car driver behind him, fortunately, had a phone and called for help. Later, he would tell Bruce he was calling 911 when Bruce was still in the air.
Again, God was there to meet Bruce. He was not dead, the man following called for help immediately, and Mounties were just six miles away and were there in minutes. They brought Bruce around with smelling salts and called an ambulance. They were chagrined to hear Bruce plead, "Turn me so I can see my bike."
Bruce was taken to the small hospital at Oyen where he was declared critically injured. At age 58, he experienced multiple injuries; his ribs T2 to T9 were broken in several places. He had his faculties, but could not talk. He heard the doctor explain that if he pulled this man's arm out from his ribs where it had been shoved, he would die, but if he didn't, he would also die.
He was airlifted by helicopter to a Calgary hospital, and three days later was shaken to hear a doctor saying, "In spite of all conditions, you are going to live. Now we should re-break your clavicle and scapula and realign the sternum and ribs."
Bruce was able to reply, "Everything is working. Let's leave it as it is."
He thought to himself, "I have twenty eight breaks and cracks to bones, a punctured lung, indications of pneumonia in both lungs, a broken nose and very little spilled blood. Someone must be looking after me!"
During the weeks of recovery in the hospital, Bruce noticed he was missing his mouth with the spoon when he fed himself, and was told that he possibly had a shearing or mixing of the layers of the brain. There was no treatment. But he was told to avoid major decisions for 18-24 months.
In two weeks, he was able to check himself out of the hospital and respond to his brother, Dr. Glen Green, who invited Bruce to come to Prince Albert for a natural healing experience. Bruce credits Jesus Christ for saving his life again. He also remains thankful for his brother's knowledge and expertise.
In those next 24 months, Calgary experienced a downturn of the economy. On his job, Bruce had the stress of reducing the number of workers under him from 100 to 27. He found he was also to be retired. During this time, he met and married a woman, which turned out to be a major mistake. A second divorce took place.
His life fell to a depth of demoralization he had never experienced before. He felt the church was not viable any more, but declared that he would start a new business and change his life.
Then he learned that God wanted to help him, and this time he better stop to listen. He joined a group at First Baptist, and became serious about applying God's Word to his life. He personally accepted Christ as his Savior and was born again. He was baptized by emersion at age 65.
Bruce became convinced that his new business would not prosper if he did not first confess his sins to his own troubled family. He wrote them a letter of apology confessing his faults in the break up of their family. When they came to witness his baptism, they were able to enjoy it with pleasure. Bruce came to appreciate the peace and joy that he saw in his children during this special time.
This caused Bruce to consider and accept a Calgary business person's offer to buy his Incorporated Company. His business had expanded to a point where he would need to hire people, but he really didn't want to start a payroll again.
Bruce completed all arrangements for the Saskatoon move. He paid off debts, sold his bike, and arrived in Saskatoon in a station wagon carrying all his possessions in 1990.
Presently, at 83, he lives in the seniors' apartment building just south of the Circle Drive Alliance Church where he attends. He has spent the last 7 - 8 years coordinating a program where 40+ mentally challenged adult students learn, during a morning service established for their Christian growth.
Recently, he saw a notice on the condo bulletin board, asking for someone to massage the hands of the residents in the nursing home next door. He responded and has found it to be very fulfilling as people request a hand massage and the companionship it brings. This ministry keeps him in touch with people needing extra human interaction. Bruce considers it a privilege to serve others, by encouraging them with God's love.
Of his long life and new love for God, Bruce says . . .
"It took me over sixty years to identify the missing element in my life but I finally discovered my need for a relationship with the Living God through His Son, Jesus Christ. And though I consider myself a slow learner, I continue on, striving to live according to God's Word with a deep desire to display Jesus' love to others.
"In Romans 6:6, the Apostle Paul says, For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with. And he goes on in verse 11 of the same chapter, In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
"I am thankful that the Holy Spirit guides me to help those in need. I hope the people I serve receive as much help as I do pleasure. Now I understand 'life is good' because of the peace and joy I experience in following God and serving others."
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