EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Don Jaquish’s tribute to his late wife Babette, which stands out amid the corn and soybeans of northwest Wisconsin, will not only catch your eye but also warm your heart.
When Babette died in November after a 9-year battle with cancer, Jaquish began bringing to life a vision his wife had told him about four years earlier: a field of sun flowers dedicated to helping others living with cancer.
And he took it to the next level, planting over 4 miles of sunflowers along the road.
“She always loved flowers but sunflowers were her favorite,” Jaquish told an ABC news affiliate. “They fit her personality. She’d
walk into a room and her smile would light up the whole room. There wasn’t anyone that met her that didn’t love her.”
He believes both sunflower seed lovers and nature enthusiasts alike will flock to the site where he promises “hours of bird, deer, and other wildlife viewing.”
At the end of the summer, “Babette’s Seeds of Hope” will be sold to support cancer patients, with a chunk of the proceeds going to hospitals, cancer research and patient advocacy.
Jaquish’s only concern is that his wife may not have wanted her smiling face on the packets of seed.
“She was a pretty modest person and I’m not so sure she’d want her picture on the bag, but she’s such a beautiful woman” he said, smiling. “She didn’t really know how beautiful she was, inside and out.”
Almost four months to the day after Babette’s death, Jaquish found buried in a drawer a letter she had written before she passed away.
“You move on and live each day,” she wrote. “Feel me in the morning air, and when you wake up and make your coffee. I will be there always.”
And now everyone can see her in the sunflowers, too.
See and ariel view of Babette’s sunflowers in the video player below: