With a broken heart and and a tear in my eye, I share the news of the passing of my father, Gregory Allen Patterson. This evening, at 7:32pm, I had the honor of being with my dad as he took his last breath. After a long and exhausting battle with cancer, he died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by the love of his family.
To know my father was a privilege and a joy. Those who knew him know what an optimistic and gregarious man he was and will not forget the kindness and love he bestowed upon them. The generosity of his spirit was contagious and his sharp wit was infectious. It was rare to leave his presence without your spirits being lifted. Dad was a man of integrity, a man who worked tirelessly to provide for our family, gave selflessly of himself to those who needed a hand and stood firmly by his word, regardless of opposition. My father led by example to show me that we all have the strength to rise above the obstacles we fear the most, that we will find happiness after our deepest heartbreak and that we must forgive even the most cruel offenses if we are to be our best selves.
My father greeted every challenge on his journey through life with determination, resilience, optimism, ingenuity and class. He had a ferocious will to survive, proven many times.
Dad taught me many lessons, but the most important lesson he taught me was one he taught me by example. That lesson is that no matter how deep your struggle, if you put the sake of others in front of your problems then your troubles will be resolved, whether by the passage of time, the generosity of others or the realization that it was never that much of a problem to begin with.
Farewell to the first great love of my life, my mentor, my number one fan, a man who taught me that above all else I should be true to myself, a man who will live in my heart my entire life and a man whom I will love and miss until the end of my days. Goodnight, Daddy.