BY CHLOE BRYAN
After Don Jaquish’s wife, Babbette, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer in November, Jaquish created a blooming sunflower memorial in Wisconsin — one that he says captures his partner’s personality perfectly.
“She’s always loved flowers, but sunflowers were her favorite,” Jacquish told ABC 13 News Now. “They fit her personality. She’d walk into a room and her smile would light up the whole room.”
Four years ago, at Babbette’s request, the Jaquishes started growing a field of sunflowers on their farm, planning to sell the seeds and use the proceeds to support other cancer patients.
After Babbette passed away, Don continued the project, eventually planting more than four miles of sunflowers that now stretch across multiple fields and farms — many of which Jaquish was granted access to by generous neighbors.
Jaquish has also founded Babbette’s Seeds of Hope, a new division of his farming operation dedicated to carrying on Babbette’s legacy. Seeds from his sunflowers will be packaged as bird seed and sold in packets with Babette’s smiling face on the front.
“She was a pretty modest person and I’m not so sure she’d want her picture on the bag,” Jaquish told ABC. “But she’s such a beautiful woman. She didn’t really know how beautiful she was, inside and out.”
Four months after his wife’s death, Jaquish discovered a note she’d left him. “You move on and live each day,” it reads. “Feel me in the morning air, and when you wake up and make your coffee. I will be there always.”
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