Elizabeth Patterson — Wise Woman and Enlightened Grandmother

My grandmother was my heroine. Born in a patriarchal era with very narrow confines of what women could do and be, she defied them all. She beat the odds and became an emancipated, enlightened, wise woman. She blazed a trail. Her struggle, filled with rejection by her family and the raised eyebrows of society, paved the way for women everywhere.

She had energy and sass to take on the world and triumphed in her personal freedom. She faced much adversity, the death of her first husband, rocky marriages, the death of her youngest son, and battled breast cancer twice. But she always took every challenge in life and turned it into something beautiful, some amazing pearl of wisdom.

She gave me wings with that wisdom, and absolute acceptance of who I was. She was about becoming, growing, and expanding your mind, soul, and spirit. She had a Masters degree and two doctorates, and never stopped studying until the day she died. She was a teacher, an interfaith minister, a mental health professional, a brilliant storyteller, and modern day medicine woman. She constantly bridged the sacred and the mundane.

I was always so inspired by her. She was steadfast on the divine, healing and social justice. She helped every willing person find the unique, divine things within them, to touch their soul, and spurred them to action about the things they learned there. I would never be who I am today without the freedom she granted my spirit.

-Laura Dyer

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