When Babbette Jaquish passed away last November, she was remembered as a wife, mother, friend and a tireless fighter in her nine-year battle with cancer. Her Eu Claire, Wisconsin, neighbors remembered her as "the Sunflower Lady" for her love of the sunny, yellow flowers and her unbeatable optimism.
Before she became very ill, Babbette Jaquish had a dream to sell sunflower seeds to raise money for cancer research.
She fell ill and passed away before she could see her dream come to fruition, but her husband, Don Jaquish, found a wonderful way to remember his late wife.
He created 400 acres of sunflowers for his new company, Babbette's Seeds.
“She realized the importance of research in clinical trials. She went from being expected to live two weeks to two months to nine years,” Don Jaquish said in an interview.
Babbette's Seeds provide sunflower seeds that can be used for planting sunflowers, snacking and feeding wildlife.
Months after his wife's passing, Don Jaquish found a letter she'd written him.
"You move on and live each day," the note read, "Feel me in the morning air and when you wake up and make your coffee. I will be there always."
Don says the sunflowers remind him of his wife. "They fit her personality. She'd walk into a room and her smile would light up a whole room."
The proceeds from Babbette's Seeds go to raise money for cancer research.