On Faith

Interview Transcript:

My name is Norman Patterson.

Well, I’m Puerto Rican, Mexican, Black, and Cherokee Indian: that’s what I’m mixed with.

Well, [my story is this:]

I was 13 years old. I was walking around in Compton, California. That’s where I was born – with Eazy-E who died of HIV? I went to school with him. And I was going around being bad, and thought I was all that.

Then my dad called me to the side and…he told me about God. He said if you just put your trust in God and go towards Jesus’ way, you don’t have to worry about nothing else no more. So I started– at the age of 13, I started going to church. I got saved, baptized at the age of 13, and ever since then – I mean, I can’t turn back I, I’m forward straight to Jesus Christ and ain’t nobody in the world can take me from him. Nobody.

My dad used to tell me, “If God wake you up every day, then he evidently got a purpose and a reason for you, because somebody didn’t wake up this morning.” I’ll be 57 this year, April 11 I’ll be 58. All my people die 106, 107. My grandma was the oldest: she was 109 when she passed away. I got – I think, let’s see…seven [of my brothers] was living – it was ten boys and eight girls. Two of my brothers passed away: one got killed, gang related, the other one got killed at a house party when I was 16.

I went to the house party when he stepped on a guy’s feet and shot him eight times in the head.

But I lost two brothers altogether, with 18 kids my mom and dad had.

You know, when I was – I think it was 2002 – my wife committed suicide. She killed herself in West Dallas. [I had] my mom and dad gone and lost two babies and a girlfriend. But Jesus Christ said…he said he’s not going nowhere. He’s not leaving me. As long as I got him I’m still happy.

I’m sad inside, but long as Jesus Christ is with me, I don’t have to worry. He said I’ll be with you to the end.

Yeah, I got to deal with it, [but] God’s gonna help me through it. I mean, I used to try to jump over the bridge downtown. Every time I tried to commit suicide because I lost my wife and my family, somebody was always there. I guess God didn’t want me to give up like that.

I had my brother-in-law [be there for me] when I lost my wife 2002. I went home and he felt that [I was in danger] – he was Aries like me. His is April 19, I was April 11. [Anyways,] he came and knocked on the door. He’s seen a gun in the back of me, saying…”I know you what you’re going to do.” He said “My sister killing yourself is not gonna bring her back. Now give me the gun.” And he was trying to talk to me again, so I said, “No, if you keep walking up I’m gonna shoot myself.” So he kept talking to me, and all of a sudden I really clicked to myself, and I realized: my wife is gone my dad gone. I can’t bring her back. Killing myself – it’s not gonna bring her back.

So I just haven’t.

You know, now, just like I say, go for it. Just keep getting – keep God in my life. That’s all I need [to know] everything else [will be] alright.

Note: the religious views expressed by Norman are his own. The Untold project is areligious and does not endorse any religious beliefs.

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