Tracy Johnston never imagined she would have a son or daughter to share Mother’s Day with after being told she couldn’t bear children.
Fortunately her doctor was wrong and while being tested for early onset menopause, she learned she was 19.5 weeks pregnant with her son, Wes, now 12, who she calls her “miracle”.
“Originally I didn’t think I could have kids, so just having a child was rewarding,” Johnston said.
“He’s such a caring and empathetic child and I really relish the fact that I get to nurture him to be what he wants to be.
“He’s developing so well, he’s such a well-rounded kid… He has manners and likes to be around people, he’s very caring and likes to foster the other little kids in the neighbourhood to be buddies with him.”
Johnston has dedicated her life to helping people through her work first as a disability worker and now as a care aide at the Rocky Mountain Village retirement home in Fernie.
“It’s so rewarding,” she said.
“You nurture your children and then they grow up and you have all that love to give.
“These people that are in here need just as much love and nurturing as any child does because this is a home and we become their families. I really love giving back to people.”
Johnston’s dedication to her job doesn’t stop when she clocks off.
In her spare time, she sings for residents at Rocky Mountain Village to provide them with entertainment.
She also sits on the board of the FIRE Adaptive Snow Program, which has helped her son Wes, who has a developmental delay, learn to ski.
Johnston comes from generations of strong women and believes all moms are inspiring.
“It’s a life that is fully rewarding but comes with challenges,” she said.
“I always admired my mom’s strength and she admits she got that from my grandmother, so it was passed down or beaten into us, however you want to say it.
“But it’s been wonderful. I always wanted to be a family person and to raise my family to believe that family is the most important thing, and now I have a huge extended family that includes all the people here (at Rocky Mountain Village).”
Johnston said she was humbled by her nomination for The Free Press’ Mother’s Day Facebook competition.
Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge generously donated a Mother’s Day brunch for two and the winner, JoAnn Featherling, was randomly drawn on Thursday.
“When I think of a super mom, she defines this term in every way possible,” said Johnston’s friend Moe Fraser who nominated her.
“She works so hard to support her family, is a mom that will do what needs to be done in selfless acts everyday and never complains. She is an advocate for her son and when things get tough she always makes it through.
“She truly does have a heart of gold and is such a beautiful soul.
“This woman is an inspiration to everyone who has the pleasure of having her touch their lives and I am so proud to call her my friend, and my superhero.”
Sparwood resident Corette Harrington was another mom in the running to win.
She was nominated by her daughter Becca: “She’s selfless, kind, warm hearted. (She) welcomes our friends in as family, supports us and everyone around us, going above and beyond to make sure her kids are happy and have the best life ever.”