I’m sitting here at Blenz Coffee in Yale Town just 15 meters from where I had my last drink with Captain Trevor Greene before he headed to Afghanistan to take part in what was then coined “Operation Archer.” I met Trevor through my cousin Robyn Gibson who went to Kings College with him many many moons ago. A lot of people ask how tow seemingly very different people ended up writing a book together about multi-million-dollar deal makers.
As most of my stories start, it began with Guinness and good times. I tipped several pints over several nights with Trevor and Robyn and we formed a friendship. Eventually I asked Trevor to help me as a Ghost Writer for my book ( later named “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals”) yet after a few weeks of working with him his in depth of experience as a real crime reporter, Bloomberg business writer, and all around brilliant guy, I asked Trevor if he would be co-author with me instead of just a writer in the background. At that time I had the first glimpse of this gentle warrior genius and I knew that I wanted to share more adventures, successes and creative moments with him.
It soon came to pass after many months and some great mentoring by people like Dr. Denis Cauvier and my father Bill Gibson that the book was ready for market. Trevor and I liked to celebrate a good day of writing with a a few pints after work. We calculated that “Closing Bigger” took 386 pints to write. Not bad. We should have had more Guinness and written the sequel too. All joking aside, in the year we worked together sided by side we forged a great relationship, and for the first time in a very long time I had found a business partner that I could completely trust, COMPLETELY.
So it was with great sorrow and angst ( I hope I hid it well ) that I bid Trevor farewell from the Yaletown brewing company in Vancouver, gave him a big hug (wasn’t something we did normally) and watched him walk out the door. It’s the last time I witnessed him walk. He as a reservist turned full time military officer he was heading to Afghanistan to emancipate those without a voice. Trevor dreamed of fresh water, young girls with access to education, and renewing hope for those who had lived under tyranny, ignorance, and war for decades.
Three months later; just before 7:00 am in early March 2006 my phone rang. The call displayed “Gregory Kirkpatrick” a mutual friend and rugby buddy of Trevor’s and mine from the Vancouver Rowing Club. I knew it could only be one thing. Trevor Greene.
“Trevor’s been hit in the head, he might not make it, he was ambushed”
I originally thought he had been shot in the head. I later learned that while meeting with some village elders in a small town attempting to find out what rebuilding they needed (schools, infrastructure etc.) he was “Brained, LITERALLY” (as Trevor describes it) with an axe to the head by a deranged young man. The axe literally chopped part of his skull and brain in half, leaving bone, blood and gray matter on the ground. They all thought he was dead. The young man that hit him was riddled with bullets and died before he hit the ground. ( You can read more about the incident here )
That morning was for me the lowest emotional point of my life. We had built a friendship, a brotherhood, and a dream together and now it was taken away from me, from him, from Debbie and little Grace. I woke my wife up sobbing, wailing actually. I had held people while they died, I even while living in Africa witnessed up close an execution/gun fight in front of the Hard Rock Café in Johannesburg of all places, but nothing in my past compared to this.
I was angry, I should have done more to make him stay. I should have made him quit. This angst spread into a low level numbness that lasted months.
Back to Trevor: First he had to stabilize, then they would fly him to a US Military hospital in Germany where they would operate on him. While I was full of sorrow and a healthy dose of self pity Debbie Lepore, Trevor’s Fiancée was arriving in Germany and about to begin an incredible journey with Trevor.
They told her that he might not live, and if he did, he probably wouldn’t wake up. If he did wake up, he would be a vegetable. Debbie simply replied “You don’t know Trevor.” This would become her mantra. Their mantra. No one had ever come back from this, there is no medical case history. Once a Doctor told her to put him in long term care and get one with her life. “You don’t know Trevor” she replied
Experts defined: Ex= “a has been” Spirt= “a drip under pressure.” The problem with these people is they attempt to measure the infinite with finite tools. As much as Trevor’s story is about a hero and a warrior it is one about infinite love and faith. That cannot be measured by indoctrinated “group thinkers.”
“He will not wake up”
He woke up.
“He will be a vegetable”
He responded and was aware
“He will not talk”
“He will not survive several bouts of pneumonia”
He healed, he survived
“He will not have use of his limbs, he will not be able to move on his own”
He now can feed himself, he can now push his own wheelchair and sometimes if he’s really motivated he can tip his own beer.
“But he will not walk again.”
YOU DON’T KNOW TREVOR
I visited Trevor and Debbie in the hospital several times when he was in Alberta. One trip I visited and he according to others was just coming out of a depression of sorts. (I worked with him, and we’re both moody at the best of times!) I asked him why the positive change? What happened? Why had his progress rapidly increased all of a sudden?
In his own words to me:
I forgave my attacker, you can’t hate and heal at the same time.
Love heals. Love creates abundance. Give what you most want. If you want love, give it. If you want respect, give it. If you want peace, give peace.
In the documentary about Trevor Greene and Debbie Lepore that airs today at 7pm PST on CTV here in Canada (done by an amazing woman Sue Ridout) Trevor answers a question and his answer is something that stuck to me, permeated my being.
The question was “Trevor do you have dreams about what happened?” Trevor answers “Yes. I’m in Afghanistan, I’m sitting in the village where I was attacked, I am talking to the boy that attacked me, and I tell him, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that my friend killed you, I was there in uniform in your home, with a weapon.”
Many people think it’s too late to change, to change their lifestyle, to change their habits, to learn new things. At 41/42 years old Trevor has been able to rewire his brain, retrain his Nero system, and rewire the brains of anyone who is influenced by Trevor and Debbie.
Trevor and Debbie, their story, and their friendship has changed me forever. I feel blessed to know these two heroes, these two healers. Some of the lessons that I have been blessed with as a result are:
- Trust your heart not the experts
- One person is a majority not a statistic
- You can’t hate and heal at the same time, so make up your mind
- Love and faith are really great medicine
- See the miracle in every moment you spend with those you love
- Tell them how much they mean to you sooner than later
- With faith, focus, and follow-through anyone can create massive positive change in their life, in their body, and in their community.
December 14th Update:
Summary in Macleans Magazine of the Documentary on CTV ( W five )
Video Trevor Greene “Peace Warrior” You can now watch parts of the documentary on CTV.ca