It is always sad to lose someone we love, it is the hardest thing in the world to deal with. It’s the kind of pain that we feel all over our body but the thing is, there is no cure for it to go away. All we need to do is to accept the fact that we will never be able to hug them or kiss them.
John and Joan Donaldson created a four acre poppy field in memory of their adopted son and former soldier, Mateo, who took his own life after returning from service in Afghanistan.
Mateo was a bee keeper at Pleasant Hill Blueberry before he went to Afghanistan to fulfil his duty.
“He came home with PTSD and took his own life,” Joan said.
“We decided to create the poppy field in memory of him, because all these flowers feed the bees and butterflies, which he loved caring for so much. He’s not buried very far from this field.“
John Van Voorhees, father of Mateo, co-owner and operator the farm shared, “It’s a four acre field and I plant the poppies in the fall. Poppy seeds are like dust; there’s like 875,000 to a pound.”
Mateo’s grave is not very far from the field. It is located just 200 feet east of the farm. John and Joan say that it gives them great peace knowing that their son is watching over it.
The farm is open to the public. Soldiers and anyone suffering from PTSD can visit the farm to seek peace.
“A couple of other veterans have come to me and said, ‘I have PTSD, but when I’m standing out there looking over that field, I can feel so much peace.” As shared by the parents of Mateo.
Joan and John encourage people to visit their beautiful field.
Joan has just one request to the visitors, “We just ask that you don’t walk on the field and please don’t pick the flowers.”
They also added that they enjoy watching people’s reactions when they see the field.
“I think, for the most part, we live in a world where people don’t provide enough beauty, or think about it, or how much it could mean to them. So, maybe when they encounter a situation like this, they begin to realize how much they need it.”
To anyone interested to visit, Pleasant Hill Blueberry Farm is located at 5859 124th Ave. in Fennville, Mi.
Do you know anyone who might be interested to visit the farm one day? Share this article now for others to see the beauty of the poppy field!