This man’s love for his late wife has only blossomed.
Don Jaquish‘s beloved wife, Babette, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, back in 2006, according to ABC News. Sadly, she died late last year.
Babette was a huge fan of sunflowers, so Don honored her in the most fitting way possible — by planting a giant stretch of sunflowers for her. They bloomed this month and Don plans to harvest and sell the seeds to help benefit cancer patients as part of his organization Babbette’s Seeds of Hope, ABC News reported.
“She got to be known as the sunflower lady of the community,” Don told ABC News of his wife. “So after she passed away, I thought it would be a tribute to her to plant 4.5 miles of sunflowers on each side of Highway 85.”
The “sunflower strip” covers the land of five different farms, KARE 11 reported. Don, who planted the flowers over a span of a week, was able to rent land from his neighbors at a reasonable price to complete the project.
He told ABC News that it was Babbette who originally came up with the idea of selling sunflower seeds and donating a portion of the proceeds to cancer research. About a month after his wife’s death, Don formed Babbette’s Seeds of Hope. Through the group, he’ll sell the seeds in bags, which will soon be available for purchase, with Babbette’s face on them along with her story printed on them. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to hospitals, research and patient advocacy, according to the company’s website.
It’s something the loving husband says would’ve made his wife proud.
“I think she would be smiling,” Don told ABC News. “We had an amazing response. We’ve had people all over the world send emails.”
While the sunflowers took a lot of time and effort to plant, Don says it was all worth it — especially for a woman whose spirit matched the beauty of the flowers.
“They fit her personality,” the widower told KARE11. “She’d walk into a room and her smile would light up a whole room.”
Months after her Babbette’s death, Don found a note from his wife stuck in a folder. In light of the sunflowers and their seeds, her words certainly ring true.
“You move on and live each day,” Babbette wrote, according to KARE11. “Feel me in the morning air, and when you wake up and make your coffee. I will be there always.”
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