PawPaw Would Have Kicked COVID-19’s Ass

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PawPaw Would Have Kicked COVID-19’s Ass

My late grandfather Harold Patterson ("PawPaw") has always been my hero. He was a minister, a soldier, a banker, a brother, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. Above all, he was the best lover and the best fighter I have ever seen. He was strong in what he believed in and made sure that those who crossed his path knew that he was deeply interested in them.

When PawPaw met someone – anyone – he ended the conversation by saying, "By the way, have I told you lately?" The new acquaintance inevitably replied: "What did he say to me?" Then PawPaw said on one cue: "That I love you." And he was serious. I've seen PawPaw do this – and heard other PawPaws say their words – thousands of times. The immediate result was literally stunning. Who loves so The answer is simple – a real humanitarian.

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It wasn't just strangers who received this special treatment – he told his colleagues, customers, neighbors, friends, and family members that he loved them every time he saw them. A man who could love this enormously and externally must be a sissy, right? A big, huge teddy bear? Not correct.

Growing up with thirteen (13) older siblings taught PawPaw how to be tough. In high school he once put wet cement in someone's mouth because he called him a "son of a bitch" – he admired his mother very much. If someone called him a coward, he would take them back and prove otherwise. Later, when his bank was robbed, instead of hiding him and waiting for the police, he personally chased the robber, pulled him out of his car, threw him on the ground, put his boot on his neck, and only then waited for the police.

PawPaw never started a fight, but he never retired from one.

These are the lessons I rely on to bring my family, business, neighborhood, and community through this COVID-19 pandemic. We should all strive to be the greatest lovers and the greatest fighters this world has ever seen.

We have to love our family, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors and strangers more than ever. People really need it. People will need a lot of help from each other. People need someone to talk to, someone to pray for, someone to comfort them, someone to mourn with them. People need help with food and supplies. Even those who always looked strong and angular can start to collapse physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Nobody needs more help, and love is the answer.

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