Strong Beautiful Women Series – Lyne Patenaude
When I chose to do this Strong Beautiful Women series, it was easy to choose the women in my
immediate family. My mother, sisters, and wife are amazing women. But the bonus for me is that I
also have some amazing women in my extended family and friends. I’ve known Lyne, technically,
just about her whole life. She’s my second cousin, or maybe it’s third cousin—this stuff gets
complicated because I happen to be related to both her parents. The bottom line, she’s family.
However, we became good friends when she was finishing high school. My wife, Judi, and I have
been close friends of Lyne and her husband, Paul, for decades now. We love them dearly. They’re
I mention the closeness of my relationship with Lyne because it highlights how well I know her. So,
when I say she’s a beautiful strong woman I can make such a claim with a depth of knowledge that
gives it validity. I know this girl—and she’s amazing.
There are certain parts of her life story that I cannot share. They have contributed a lot to me being
able to make such a claim about her. But out of respect for her privacy, I can’t share those parts.
What I can say about those parts is that Lyne faced major health challenges that tested her strength
to limits that not many us ever have to. Her faith played a key role in her overcoming challenges.
What I witnessed in those parts of her life enables me to attest to her strength and beauty.
I’m happy to share other parts of her life with you, so that they might give you some insight to the
beautiful strong vibrant woman I see.
I’ve always admired families who make the choice for one partner to step away from a career to be a
stay-at-home parent. It can be a tough choice to make. Paul and Lyne had been married seven
years when they made the decision for Lyne to be a stay-at-home mom when their first daughter,
Micha, was born. A choice they affirmed when their second daughter, Melanie, followed three and a
half years later.
Lyne’s choice to devote this time to her children in this way was rooted in her vision of the mother
she wanted to be. It’s not that she thought it was the right choice for every mother. It just happened
to be the best choice for her.
Most of us want our life choices to matter. We want to know that the tough life decisions we’ve taken
made a difference. Lyne’s choice to leave the workplace made the type of impact she had hoped for.
Her choice flowed from her desire to raise her daughters to be confident women who would follow
their dreams, know God, and be loving caring people.
Lyne’s daughters are themselves strong beautiful women. The best testimony to Lyne’s role as a
mother comes from her daughters.
Micha said, “My mom was selfless, and always willing to give of herself and her time for us. We were
her life, and I only have wholesome memories of my childhood, in large part because of her as a
stay-at-home mom. She’s always encouraged and loved us in our passions and dreams. What I
appreciate most about my mom is how she taught us to be kind-hearted, mostly by the way she
lives. She gave up a lot to love us the way she has.”
Melanie speaks just as highly of her mom. She said, “She’s one of the most encouraging people I
know. No matter what I am going through she always encourages me to do my best and keep trying.
She has embedded in my brain the idea that being successful is all about being determined and
believing that you can do something. She’s taught us to turn a bad situation into something good.
Our mom has loved us unconditionally since day one.”
Anyone who has raised children knows the challenges that come with parenting. There are many.
Some test your resolve. Some discourage you. Some make you wonder about your ability to parent.
It seems that parenting never ends. I know it hasn’t for Lyne. She continues to be a supportive and
loving mother. The best comment I could make about her role as a mother comes from Micha, who
“My mom isn’t perfect, but none of us are. One thing is certain, I wouldn’t be who I am today without
her. I will always be grateful for all she’s done and given up for Mel and I.”
Lyne eventually went back to the workforce when her girls grew older. She became a substitute
teacher and has been dealing with those challenges with grace and strength. I could write an entire
blog post just on that challenge alone. She’s been at it for fifteen years now. Suffice it to say that her
dedication and commitment to this part of her journey is another window into the woman I see.
Lyne, I love your strength and beauty. Thank you for being who you are, even if you’re not perfect.
If you haven’t already read the intro blog to the series to know why I’m writing this Strong Beautiful Women series you can do so by clicking here, or click here to read about the other Strong Beautiful Women I’ve had the privilege to honour.