Have you heard of Wyatt’s Bench? Here’s a feel good story like no other.
Life’s little stumbles into awesomeness are some of my favourite things. You wake up, you start the day and no matter how scheduled you are, there are things that just happen. Lately, since I have four jobs (sometimes five), I had decided to take some more leisure time for myself to see friends, read, and enjoy the outdoors. In Wolfville (and the Valley) we have the beautiful Harvest Moon Trail and I use this trail a lot. My very good friend Dave and I hit this trail a few weeks ago for some walking time. Dave and I lost touch a few years ago but through life’s great happenings, we’ve reconnected and become very close, and through the last 15 months of the pandemic we have relied on each other for better times and laughs and great conversations.
While walking, Dave and I came across this absolutely gorgeous new bench, close to the Greenwich entry of the walking trail. We rested and spent well over two hours chatting, enjoying the view, and feeling a bizarre sense of something very special about this spot. I will never be able to describe it. Our chat on that bench was so open, honest, and meaningful.
Then along came Shelley Parsons on her bike! You can’t tell me that timing isn’t everything in this world and serendipitously, Shelley stumbled upon Dave and I enjoying the bench and relayed to us that this spot is designated as “Wyatt’s Bench,” named after Shelley’s son who passed away on October 1, 2020, from a cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. While Dave and I listened, it immediately sunk in why we felt the way we did in this spot. I have to tell you folks, it was an incredible moment for us.
Wyatt, of the Wyatt’s Warriors Foundation, is my new hero! Wyatt lived for the outdoors, for spending time with people, and taking in his surroundings. Now, Wyatt’s bench is doing just that for the community. One of Wyatt’s hockey buddies, Danny Chisholm, who played with Wyatt in Acadia Minor Hockey, wanted to honour this amazing young man’s memory and so the family messaged Shelley about the memorial and now we have Wyatt’s Bench!
“That spot came to mind me for me,” Shelley says. “Wyatt and I would often bike to Wolfville and I have a picture of him riding with no hands near that spot. Often I will stop and talk to Wyatt and look out over the dykes and remember our rides on the Harvest Trail.”
Make the time everyone, to go and visit Wyatt’s bench. Take a family member, an old friend, a new friend, or sit and wait for a stranger. This bench is what I am calling The Heartbeat of our Walking Trail. It’s everything you want for a peaceful, euphoric, connecting area to better yourself. This great gift is very much like Wyatt himself; a timeless contribution to our community. Bravo to Shelley and Wyatt: Keep going, be nice, make friends!
Visit wyattswarriors.org to learn more about Wyatt and how you can donate to the foundation to help others.
Photo courtesy of Mike Butler.