Your Willow Tree® Stories

Your Stories

"It's so interesting and rewarding for me to come to this website and read your stories! They're moving, funny, amazing. Your personal interpretations bring refreshing new life and rich layers of discovery to each piece."

Enjoy these personal stories from fellow Willow Tree customers. We invite you to share your story with us, too.

To read stories about a specific Willow Tree piece, click on the detail page for that piece.

Promise

Submitted by Janene in UT, August 2017

My husband and I loved to go ballroom dancing. He suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. A friend gave me the Promise figurine. It meant so much to me because it looks like they are dancing. I also love the saying that is on the Promise card. We will continue to love each other. This is a real treasure for me as I try to focus on the beautiful memories of our life together. Dancing is one of the great memories.

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Heart of Gold

Submitted by Chelsea in Delmar, DE, August 2017

My sweet Vincent fought Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) with every heart beat, but after 4 open heart surgeries in his short 10 weeks of life his heart couldn't take it anymore. I have the Heart of Gold figurine in my house as a reminder of his heart of gold and all his strength. I live every day going forward in his honor.

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Thinking of you

Submitted by Carrie dake in Shelbyville, indiana, August 2017

We were blessed to be pregnant with twins only to have our hearts ripped out when their heartbeats stopped. When we had our D&C our ON ward gave us the "thinking of you" willow Tree. It means so much to us to have something represent our twins.

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Love of Learning

Submitted by Crystal in Columbia, KY, August 2017

Four years ago my youngest son was diagnosed with Dyslexia and along the way we sought the help of a counselor to help with some generalized anxiety and advocacy for services at school. It turned out that this counselor also worked as a part time educator at a local private college that I had dropped out of at age 18. At some point during our conversation, I expressed that I had thought about getting back in college for my degree in human services. She encouraged me to do so and highlighted that I was already doing the same work that individuals with that degree do, for my son. I am now one semester from graduating with my bachelors degree in Human Services and a minor in communication and just finished the last of three practicum classes, all which were taught by this blessing of a woman, the lord placed in my path. At the end of my last class together I presented her with one of these figurines as a token of gratitude for the words she uttered to me four years ago, that she may have thought nothing of at the time and the knowledge she had given me over my course work. I felt it was appropriate especially since my concern for my son's learning lead me to someone who has given me a tremendous amount of knowledge and the opportunity for a lifetime of learning.

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Birthday Girl

Submitted by Carolyn Serviss in MD, July 2017

This piece was purchased as a gift for my mom who was celebrating her 100th birthday. She loved it and has it proudly displayed in her home.

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Two together

Submitted by Melissa Nielsen in Bixby, Oklahoma, July 2017

I recently just had my second miscarriage. While it was more of a scary experience, it was also very heart-wrenching. My biggest fear is that those sweet little babies that came too soon will be forgotten. When I saw the statues Two Together, it warmed my aching heart. What a perfect way to remember my babies that I will never get to hold. At least I can hold these on the days that I feel sad and miss them. Thank you for the sweet little ones to comfort my aching heart.

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Sisters by Heart

Submitted by Maureen Cyr in Nova Scotia, July 2017

I lost my big sister to cancer in Dec 2009 and in June 2016 I lost my little sister to cancer. I have always loved the Willow tree collection so one day while attending a doctor's appointment I stopped by the pharmacy and these two sisters caught my eye, I have them in my kitchen window with the view of the lake, I thought they would like it here as neither of them were ever to visit me here.Thank you for creating my Sister Angels.

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Around You

Submitted by Flo Dzierwinski in New jersey, July 2017

Hi,
We would have been married 30 years today if my beloved husband Eddie hadn't passed away on May16,2017 at home !
He fought Multiple Myeloma from March 2016 until May 13,2017when He finally said he had enough! My Baby fought a good fight and we always did things together. When I saw this statue, I knew it said us and had to have it!
When I look at it I can feel his touch! That is why I have this precious reminder of our love

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Bloom

Submitted by Lucy in USA, July 2017

If you're alone, I'll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I'll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I'll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I'll be your smile... But anytime you need a friend, I'll just be me

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Bloom

Submitted by Susan in UK, July 2017

Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest... It's about who came, and never left your side

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Bloom

Submitted by Jack in Germany, July 2017

When we first talked to each other
I knew we would always be friends.
Our friendship has kept on growing
And I'll be here for you to the end.

You listen when I have a problem
And help dry the tears from my face.
You take away my sorrow
And put happiness in its place.

We can't forget the fun we've had
Laughing 'til our faces turn blue.
Talking of things only we find funny
People think we're insane-If they only knew!

I guess this is my way of saying thanks
For catching me when I fall.
Thanks once again for being such a good friend
And being here with me through it all.

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Bloom

Submitted by Ben in China, July 2017

A stranger stabs you in the front; a friend stabs you in the back; a boyfriend stabs you in the heart, but best friends only poke each other with straws.

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Surrounded by Love

Submitted by Lisa in Searcy, Arkansas, July 2017

We lost our oldest daughter, single mother to three sweet children, on her middle son's birthday this July 4th in a tragic car crash. I have always admired your beautiful creations & received my first as a gift of comfort during this very hard time of loss. It brings me comfort every time I pass by it in my home as I am reminded of so many beautiful fellow Christians that are constantly praying for our healing & peace through this new journey. Thank you for turning your talents into such a beautiful ministry. You have touched us more than you will ever know.

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Angel Of Friendship

Submitted by suzette trenda in ND - North Dakota, July 2017

I bought the Angel of Friendship to put with my Sweet Yellow Lab Shelby's memorial as she was my best friend and loyal companion for 11 y 6 m And I miss her so much. I saw this and knew I had to have it. Thank you for such a beautiful piece. She took my heart with her when she passed over to the rainbow bridge.

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Around You

Submitted by Ammara Danish in Pakistan, July 2017

I live in Pakistan. Last year my parents choose a boy (Danish) for me to marriage . Danish came Pakistan and we do arrange marriage I saw Danish first look few days before our wedding i selected him as my life partner and then we wed after a week. then Danish went to ITALY as He is from ITALY . i am in Pakistan till the paper work . we both fall in love with each other after marriage :D <3 he just touched my hand during ring ceremony and i too .. we still feel this touch . we are distant because of geographic boundries till paper work . one day my husband saw this beautiful piece in a shop and he gifted me this piece and said this piece is exactly what I imagine when i am with you in my dreams or when i sit alone . This is best gift ever because it contain feeling of our first touch ,that love and our imagination . it also reflect that he miss me a lot .I MISS YOU TOO . May we be together soon and read this story sitting together Ameen

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Remembrance

Submitted by Sara in Fowlerville, MI, US, July 2017

I bought this piece in memory of my mother. I find extreme comfort in this piece. I have dedicated two shelves in memory of her and this angel was my first piece.

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Friendship angel

Submitted by Debra Ritchie in Haines City,Fl, July 2017

My angel came to me on my birthday. Today 7\18 . I fell in love at first sight.And when I saw what she was made of I had to laugh. My Mom passed in 2004, and I had been missing her so much as it came close to my birthday. So when the word Willow Tree popped out at me. I just had to laugh. It was like my mom was saying hi and happy birthday with my son. You see ,I was a willful child. And being so, I received my share of spankings. And with willow tree branches, that I had to pick myself.Now I know some will think this an odd thing to think of.But I have an odd sense of humor. So this angel was a gift from my son,but with it my mom said hi too.

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True Keepsake Box

Submitted by Beth Strand in Katy, Texas, July 2017

I had to put my beloved dog, Zach, to sleep last month. My dear friend chose to purchase the True Keepsake Box to show she was thinking of me. It is perfect for Zach's collar tag, which I had hanging on a light switch because I didn't know what to do with it. Now I have a special place for Zach's tag. The box could not have been more perfect. I will always treasure it. PS- I have a photo I can send if you'd like to see it.

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Sisters by Heart

Submitted by Alanna in T, July 2017

My 8 year old daughter and her best friend were the sweetest of friends. They were the purest example of friendship. They were definitely "sisters by heart." This summer her best friend became very ill. She was diagnosed with leukemia. While receiving treatment to fight the cancer, my daughter's best friend contracted bacterial meningitis. We prayed for God to heal her, to take away the cancer and the meningitis. She went to heaven on July 2nd. We know that God did heal her...that my daughter's precious best friend is healed in heaven. We are missing this sweet girl every day. The "sisters by heart" figures are a sweet symbol of my daughter and her best friend and the bond they had. While it doesn't replace her "BFF," it is a reminder of all of the sweet, precious memories they have together.

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Angel of Friendship

Submitted by Linda Spar in Pittsburgh, PA, July 2017

Our precious black Lab, Creedence, passed away from Hemangiosarcoma on December 13, 2014 at the age of 10 and a half.. We had him for 5 wonderful years. He was such a cheerful companion, a "typical Lab" who loved swimming and retrieving his tennis ball until he was exhausted! No dog could have been more perfect or loyal.

We had "rescued" this sweet boy shortly after moving to this area in late 2008. That fall, we had lost our other beloved dogs, Daphne and Mickey, in quick succession due to illness. Both of us felt hollow and empty in a new home without a four footed friend. I couldn't even walk down the pet aisle in the grocery store without tearing up.

A coworker of my husband's told him of a lab who was well-loved but lived in a small home where Nicki, his owner, could no longer adequately care for him, since she had small children and Creedence ended up not getting the attention and playtime she knew he deserved. We visited and decided we wanted to adopt him. I told Nicki that we would give him an amazing life and that she would always also be his mom. It tore her apart to give him up (she had had him since he was a puppy) but she knew she was doing the right thing.

Years later, when I called Nicki to tell her Creedence had passed away, we both cried. I told her I would give her half of his ashes. We met in a Panera, where we cried and hugged, exchanging photos and memories. She gifted me the Angel of Friendship as a thank you for taking care of our big boy. I have the angel in our foyer, where I smile and remember him each time I walk by.

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With Affection

Submitted by Kathy in Illinois, July 2017

Almost 11 years ago I brought home a beautiful brown & orange, long haired, just weaned 1lb 6oz kitten who I named Molly. Once I picked her up & walked through the door of my home, it became her home, also, & she became family. The moments & stories, with & about her are endless, as is the joy & love she gave me. Her 11th birthday is July 26, 2017. On July 7, 2017, after a week of fighting to help her from the sudden onset of an illness, I had to call my vet because she was in serious trouble. At 9:30 that night, I made the heartbreaking decision to let her go. I held her in my arms, stroking her, & whispering in her ear how sweet & beautiful she was. I whispered over & over what a good girl she was & how much I loved her. After the final injection, I told her it was ok & it was time for her to rest. I told her to tell Lucy Hi. Lucy was her's, & mine, dog buddy who we lost 3 years ago. I held her closely, continuing to whisper "I Love You" till her last breath & for minutes after she was gone. As everyone who shares a similar story here, the pain & heartbreak is devastating. There were so many tears during that final week, but the tears that night were the worst, & nonstop. I asked that she be cremated & Tuesday, July 11, 2017, I brought my sweet Miss Molly home. It brought me some peace to have my baby girl back at her home with me & her 3 month younger half brother Nova who has been grieving since she did not come through the door with me that Friday night. Today, a dear friend gave me this beautiful figurine. I placed it upon the beautiful box where my Molly was at peace. At that moment, it became so much more than a figurine. It became a true & meaningful moment of love, peace & comfort. I could feel that Angel, with her arms lovingly holding my Molly closely to her. I became that Angel, holding my sweet girl, no words spoken, but the feelings of loving, caring & comforting felt so strongly between us. Each time I look at it, I know Miss Molly is feeling all my love & she mine. Thank you for creating this beautiful creation that allows my Molly & me to remain close & forever in love.

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Shine

Submitted by Jody Miller in Florida, July 2017

I have given and received so many of these beautiful heartwarming pieces in my life. One from a friend who was suffering with metastatic cancer gave me "Sisters by Heart" and I gave her "Hope." The two hands joined in friendship is a constant reminder of our raising our children and sharing our lives for 25 years.. My daughter was standing at the end of the 60 mile breast cancer walk and gave me "Courage." I have loved them all! Recently after experiencing divorce after 45 years of marriage I purchased "Soar" for myself. How appropriate due to the frozen right shoulder I am experiencing and it is the same arm that she is raising! I WILL soar!!!!! Thank you for finding the joy of life.

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Two Together

Submitted by Michelle nettleship in Plymouth uk, July 2017

I found these purely by accident the other year and have wanted them ever since; well today I got them. It's my 1st piece from the Willow Tree collection. These have a very significant meaning to me. I lost twin boys in 2000 and wanted something to remember them by but never found anything quite special enough. These are now my pride and joy and I can't wait for my collection to build. Thank you so very much.

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Birthday Girl

Submitted by Maureen Blair in Scotland, near loch lomond, July 2017

Yesterday was my birthday , my first without my mum who passed away 8 weeks ago. My friend bought me Birthday Girl and when I look at it it reminds me how my mum made me feel ...even though I'm now 52 she always made me feel like the young excited delighted figure that is birthday girl. My little figure is another reminder of how close by my mum is. Thank you

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Two Together

Submitted by Marcia in West Yorkshire, July 2017

I lost two boys to miscarriage and whilst I could get separate ornaments this one just meant so much - they are together and it just speaks volumes to me and I knew I had to buy it. It takes pride of place in their memory corner.

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Thank you

Submitted by Karen in Rochester, NY, July 2017

I just received the lovely "Thank You" from my niece and her husband to thank me for the piano music I provided for their wedding last August in Philadelphia. I don't collect Willow Tree but still have about six that have been given me mostly as a thank you gift for providing musical entertainment on my violin or piano. I love this figurine because of the pop of color in the bouquet!
The wedding was unique in that it featured piano music from Princess Mononoke, the Japanese animated film. I try to fit the wedding music to the couple, playing a variety of music, but always including selections that have special meaning to the couple. Susannah and William were especially touched that I went the extra mile and ordered the original version of the music instead of using copies that I found on the internet. I feel somehow very much attached to each wedding couple I serve, and feel so pleased when I hear compliments from the wedding guests affirming that the music was so fitting for the occasion.
Susannah took some time choosing this gift which came with a dvd of Princess Mononoke (of course) and a lovingly written note. I will cherish it!

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For Always

Submitted by Karen in American Fork, Utah, July 2017

Hi, my name is Karen
I picked out this figurine because my 28 year old son just passed away in a motorcycle accident 2 days ago.
I found it at my pharmacy where the employees know me after many years of going there.
They simply gave it to me to show their love for me.
I wish our lives were always about giving and receiving simple acts of kindness like these loving people gave.
I wish more than anything that I could have held my son one more time as the figurine shows.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story,
Love, Karen

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Beautiful Wishes

Submitted by Roxann Goudy in Balmoral, Manitoba, July 2017

I was given Beautiful Wishes, a piece of Art for my high school graduation. The thing is I am just about 60 years old so it was a big accomplishment for me. This piece was given to me by a retired school teacher and her daughter, very nice people. I will charish this piece of art and understand what it is all about, and I will pass it down the line when my granddaughter has completed her high school. This piece is so beautiful and will always be special to me. Thank you 😊 Roxy

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Kindness Boy with puppy figurine #27463

Submitted by Katherine in Venice Beach CA, July 2017

Wow, I just love this piece! It looks exactly like my son Jake and our dog Thor. My son gifted me with this piece as a gesture that marks a precious memory. You see Thor was our almost 17 year old chihuahua. He was the best little dog ever and could carry on a conversation like no other! He traveled first class with us all over, rode Harleys and lived a great life! Sadly, just 3 months ago, he became ill and transitioned in my arms. :( My best friend, my buddy, my confidant, miss you every day! I'm grateful my son gave me this piece. It reminds me of the great memories we had. Thank you! Love you Thor!

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Sisters by Heart and My Sister, My Friend

Submitted by Sara Mehltretter in Redington Beach, Florida, July 2017

My 65th birthday is this Wednesday, July 5th and my sister, Susan who lives in New Jersey surprised me by sending me your beautiful and deeply heartfelt pieces to commemorate this and my 60th birthday celebration. I will cherish them as symbols of our special bond as sisters. They are in a special cabinet surrounded by flowers, an idealic pair, in an idealic setting, never aging and always together, now matter the distance.

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Remembrance

Submitted by Liz Ormamdy in Cheshire, June 2017

I started my new job at a hospital feeling a little apprehensive how I would fit in the team, but from day one my work colleagues were so friendly. I announced at work that my sister and I sadly lost our middle sister to cancer on the 14th of June after a 5 year battle. My work colleagues were so supportive, and they bought me the Willow Tree Remembrance figure. The most eerie part is, Willow Tree was my late sister's most favourite type of ornament and she had several pieces at home. I will cherish my gift and will always thank my work colleagues supporting me at such difficult time.

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Love of Learning

Submitted by Jessie Smith in Pineville, Louisiana, June 2017

My wife is the director of the Parish Library System (in Louisiana, counties are called parishes) . A couple of years ago when she took over the position, she wanted to give something as a personal gift to those who retire. She saw this figurine in Books A Million where I worked part-time after retirement. Everyone loves these, sometimes we have to get them at Hallmark but we have a Books A Million discount card. I try to buy them as they come in, so we will always have at least two. Please continue making these and as long as she works there, we will buy them.

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good health and thinking of you

Submitted by Tonia Ayers in morristown tn, June 2017

My niece, my baby girl, got me the Good Health angel really by mistake. Unknown to her I was very sick at the time. I walked outside and found the package was there . I was so surprised by what I found, it was the Good Health angel. I called to thank her and she told me it was supposed to be the Thinking of You angel.But I have to say I felt better just from the love she showed.She came in for a visit and she bought me the Thinking of You angel. So now I will always have a part of my Kassie girl with me. I love my angels so very much.

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Thank you

Submitted by Marie Ange Diaz-Cervo in NJ, June 2017

I am the author of My Grateful book, which is a book that teaches you how to be thankful for every aspect of your life. Besides writing, I also work as a substitute teacher and as an ABA paraprofessional. After I went through a series of health issues and a turmoil divorce I accepted an 1:1 assignment with a special need child. The child is very intelligent and had to receive different therapy so he can eat, speak properly and function in society. He exceeded tremendously and I am so proud of him. His parents asked me to help them at home with him in the early morning and after school, I accepted and work with them for three years. As a going away the family gave me the thank you piece and I am forever grateful for the times I spent with the family.

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Soar

Submitted by Jan in Oxfordshire, June 2017

Sadly, a dear friend of mine (Isablelle) passed away three days ago; she was also like a mother to me. Not long after hearing the sad news I went into my study and saw the most beautiful huge, white dove swoop down from the roof, take a drink out of the fountain to the pond below, then take flight heading towards my roof, giving eye contact in the process. I instantly had a feeling of peace and freedom. The following day I went into one of my lovely local card shops and what should catch my eye but "Soar". I truly feel it is a gift in remembrance of Isabelle and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making such wonder Angels. I have so many other Willow Tree Angels and have to say love them all for different reasons.

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Sunshine

Submitted by laverne in asheville nc, June 2017

My friend of 41 years has recently had a stem-cell transplant. She stood with me at my wedding. We have traveled together extensively. We have hiked, and enjoyed the outdoors. We shared family times, and made many fun memories.
Right now she is struggling with her recuperation, and needs 24/7 care for many months. I am going to be with her for a week, and hope my visit, and my Willow Tree Sunshine will cheer her.

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Several

Submitted by Shela Gilbert in Texas, June 2017

My husband started my collection. He gave me Together as a gift the first Christmas we were a couple. Over the years he has given me several of the other couple figurines. The one we both think is the most like us is You and Me. My sister in law gave me Sisters as a birthday gift. I love each one and cherish the memories that go with them. Today I received Close to Me from my mother-in-law; she wanted me to have something special in honor of my grandmother who recently passed away. My grandmother and I had very close relationship. I got to spend a lot of time with her growing up so we bonded. After my mom died we had an even closer bond. We remained very close even after I moved from Oregon to Texas. So when I look at Close to Me I think of the grandmother I just lost and my mom who died when I was 14. It also reminds me that I have a mother-in-law who loves me too.This new piece will hold a very special place in my heart.

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Our gift and for always

Submitted by Tanya in Ballinamore, Ireland, June 2017

My son was born prematurely at 27 weeks on the 18th of June 2016. He was very sick and two days after his birth we were told to say our goodbyes. He beat the odds and pulled through. He was born in Dublin. The hospital was in the city centre and we ventured out a week after he was born. We came across a shop called Tierneys. They stocked Willow Tree. I was admiring the selection and shortly after we returned to the hospital. My partner nipped back and purchased 'Our gift'. After the horrendous time we had it brought a huge smile to my face. It was perfect and summed up how we felt. Our son was our gift. He was in hospital for three months before we brought him home. He suffered a major bleed into his chest, two large bleeds to his brain and heart surgery. But, he survived.

We celebrated his 1st birthday yesterday. My partner surprised me with 'For Always'. Again, it was perfect and summed up perfectly the love I have for my little boy. I give thanks every day that we were allowed to keep him, and I make that promos everyday..... I will love him for always.......

Thank you xxx

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For Always, We are Three

Submitted by Claudia Flores de Azevedo Pereira in Brasil, June 2017

Hi Susan! I was traveling in Germany, in Frankfurt, when I fell in love with his plays. They are the expression of the purest love and human delicacy! Soon in the Black Forest In Triberg I bought another piece, I did not resist. I'm coming back to Brazil very happy to know your art ... Congratulations

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Mother and Son

Submitted by Judy Glover in Chichester, June 2017

About 8 years ago I bought mother and daughter and father and son; having a son and a daughter it fit very well. Nearly 3 years ago my then daughter came out as transgender and is transitioning to be male. It didn't feel right having them as I didn't have a daughter anymore. I wanted to get Mother and son. Our willow tree family is now complete. And I really love them

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Abundance

Submitted by Katie in WI, June 2017

I love this angel because I have an abundance in my life. I have a wonderful boyfriend, good friends, a good job, and a loving family. We have to remind ourselves of the good in our lives sometimes. Whenever I'm sad, I look at this piece and remember that life isn't so bad.

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Bright Star

Submitted by Katie in WI, June 2017

This piece is special because I got it from my mother when I got into National Honors Society when I was in college. It gives me a reminder of the success and hard work put into this. Looking at this piece on my dresser shows me that anyone is capable of reaching their goals and dreams.

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Heart of Gold

Submitted by Evandro Consentino in Toronto, CA, June 2017

I gave this piece to the most incredible man I have ever met in my life. Its incredible how it shows exactly what I feel for him.
My heart is yours and it will always be!!
I love you amore mio (Francesco).

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Sisters by Heart

Submitted by Debbie Brooks in Oxon, June 2017

This was given to me on the day of my dear friend's mother's funeral. We have known each other since we were five and have had so many ups and downs in our lives. These figures look like we did at a young age and it means so much to me that she thought of me when she was going through so much herself. A very brave and dear friend who really is my sister by heart.

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Promise Cake Topper

Submitted by Marina in São Paulo, Brazil, June 2017

Last year my boyfriend (now my husband) traveled to the Netherlands on vacation, where I was happily suprised when he proposed to me during a picnic on the first day of our trip. We saw the Willow Tree products in one of the souvenir stores when we toured the windmills in Zaanse Schans and we thought they were so beautiful! We fell in love with the "Promise" piece but since they did't have the cake topper in store, we didn't buy it.
After a few months, when we were planning our wedding, all I could think about was that cake topper. It would mean so much to us to have a piece that could take us back to where it all started. It was a no brainer to buy it, so we did.
As the wedding plans continued, we decided not to have a cake for several reasons, but we still really wanted to have the cake topper displayed. Our decorator was creative enough to incorporate it as the center piece of our sweets table!
It looked so beautiful and it meant so much to us! Our wedding was perfect and the Promise cake topper represents all the love and caring that we have.
I do have a picture of the cake topper as part of the decoration and I would gladly share with you if you're interested. Thank you for making such beautiful pieces!

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Mother and Son

Submitted by betty james in Tell City Ind, June 2017

I received my first piece when my young son was 35 yrs old. I fell in love with the Willow Tree collection. Since then, I try to get as many as I can. If It hadn't been for my son passing away, and my receiving this piece, I may have never started my collection.

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Angel's Embrace

Submitted by Joyce Armstrong in New Bern, North Carolina, June 2017

On December 23, 1979, my sister gave birth to her first child, Pam. Pam was born with only half a heart and passed away 19 days later. My sister was heartbroken. She waited every December 23rd to put the angel on her tree in remeberance of her baby. On December 5, 2016, my sister passed away just 4 days after her own birthday. I wanted to carry on her tradition, but slightly different. I wanted this to be in memory of both of them. I knew I wanted an angel holding a child to symbolize their reunion. Nothing I was finding seemed right until I saw Angel's Embrace. I knew that was exactly what I was looking for. So come December 1 (my sisters birthday) I will set it on my mantel for the entire month. Thank you so much.

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Angel's Embrace Ornament

Submitted by Jennifer in Daytona, Florida, June 2017

This was the very first Willow Tree I received.
It was a Mothers Day gift. It is my most prized possession, because January 18 my son died by suicide. Looking back at the angel holding the boy. I guess it was God's way of letting me how He always had him, even before I knew

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Courage

Submitted by Jennifer Beckerman in Kansas City, MO, June 2017

Today I was sent this special angel by my cousins. On December 9, 2015 I was diagnosed with ALS. I am a 47 year old single mother who has decided to live my life to its fullest and to fight this horrid disease with everything I've​ got! My Courage Angel will be a constant reminder that I am a fighter! Thank you for your beautiful creations!!

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Home, New Dad, Free Spirit, Heart of Gold, Guardian Angel, Two Together

Submitted by Allie in Virginia, June 2017

We recently had our third miscarriage. We have gone through a long road to have children and after ending with IVF as our only hope, we have had an ectopic as our first pregnancy. After that were failures and then we got pregnant with twins, but lost one; we lost our daughter's twin. For our daughter's pregnancy we got our first Willow Tree statue, the "Home" statue. I loved it so much and it has brought us so much happiness. A dream, years in the making! When she was born I got my husband the "New Dad" statue for his office. A few years later we had our son, and I gave him the "Free Spirit" one for our daughter to put beside his New Dad one. When we got pregnant this time I got him the "Heart of Gold" to give him when we delivered, to represent our son and to put with the other two statues. When I miscarried I knew I had to put "Heart of Gold" away and we had nothing for this lost baby. I realized too that we had nothing but pain for the two before. After looking through all of the Willow Tree angels, I felt like the baby figures were the ones that spoke to me the most, but even they weren't quite right. The "Two Together" spoke to me as we were going to have twins with my daughter, but instead at that point had two lost babies and they were together in heaven. I almost picked "Angel's Embrace," because this last one I felt happiness at my baby being held when I couldn't. Thinking of my children here on earth, "Guardian Angel" fit more because I know they would have had the same spirit of "here I go!" My daughter chose today to celebrate as Baby Angel Day and we each added wings to the babies (I hope you aren't upset we added to your work). We have them on the fireplace now to watch over us and this helped me personally to do SOMETHING, but also finally to openly honor and truly grieve our first two losses as well. We have had many conversations about grief and mourning and I was able to tell my daughter she is a rainbow baby and what having her in our life means, the color and joy she and her brother have given us. Today she was able to be the big sister helping her baby angels get their wings. She was so happy to help them. That is something we needed and you helped us through. Thank-you. The two pieces, "Guardian Angel" between "Two together" look absolutely beautiful all together and I wish I could share the picture with you. Thank-you for your many works. I look forward to giving the "Heart of Gold" to my husband one day, and purchasing a figure for our next rainbow baby once we get to know our next addition... one day. Maybe, if you ever need inspiration, Sunshine, Rainbow, Angel, and Pot of Gold babies might be amazing to explore. I would love to see your take and I know many women to whom those would be a treasure! Thank-you for hearing our story.

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Angel's Embrace

Submitted by Delphine Lacanal in Bretagne, France, June 2017

After 5 years of medically assisted procreation and one miscarriage in September 2016, 1 Fiv gave us new hope in February 2017.
The first ultrasound was magical. Everything was fine and we were very happy.
But 10 days later the doctors were pessimistic, no more amniotic fluid.
I lost my baby at four months of pregnancy on May 26th.
Some days later my sister offered me this beautiful angel who takes care of my baby in my place.
To have this representation of my little Gabriel in his arms is very soothing.
Maybe this angel with my baby will bring us luck in the months to come and my belly will welcome soon the little brother or the little sister of our Gabriel gone too early.
Thank you ❤

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Courage

Submitted by JP in Dallas, June 2017

I have given several Willow Tree Angels as gifts over the years. Without fail they delight and move the recipient.

I just gave Courage to a friend who is making a major life change. She is thrilled with it, finding it as meaningful as I hoped it she might. Courage's little fists are the perfect touch.

It is truly amazing how expressive the angels' little faces are sans features. I think this is what lets each viewer see in their Angel what they need to feel.

I have a dozen or so angels myself, some gifts, some gifts to myself. Whenever I look at them, I feel good all over again. And again, I am amazed at how powerfully expressive they are sans features. They are fabulous little therapists!

I check out the collection whenever I come upon a display in a store. I walk away feeling better even if I did not buy.
Being an animal lover, I really enjoy the angel/animal pieces, too.

Thank you for your wonderful art pieces. JP

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We are three

Submitted by Joy in Australia, June 2017

It took us 3 years to build a family of three. We even tried a lot of tests for an IVF process but fortunately we were blessed before we even started. We were so excited when we found out that I was pregnant. Now, we are very happy to have a wonderful and healthy baby boy. I also have a Holy Family figurine and buying the piece really reminds me of my faith and at the same time my very own family. Thank you for inspiring us. :)

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Together Cake Topper

Submitted by Elisha McLellan in Pawlet, VT, June 2017

This beautiful piece is going to represent a new chapter in life as I become my best friends Mrs.
We met 12 years ago when I moved to a small town in VT, knowing no one. We were both with someone else, but ended up building a friendship that grew stronger no matter what. We both have gone through some hard times in life, and have turned to each other. We just passed our 6 year anniversary of dating, and in just 3 1/2 short weeks, we will say I Do.
He is my true partner in love, and in life. He keeps me grounded when life gets me down, keeps me motivated when I set my mind to conquer, gives me strength when I am in need, keeps love in my heart, and a smile on my face.
We could not have picked a more beautiful piece to be our cake topper, and represent this next journey we are going to go through, hand in hand.

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You're the Best!

Submitted by Anna in Dubuque, IA, May 2017

I am currently a college student going into education. I plan on becoming an elementary school teacher someday in hopes to touch many hearts. Through this past school year I decided to broaden my experiences and take on a student, from a local elementary school to tutor. The silly, fun loving, and sweet girl touched my heart and apparently I touched hers. Her mom could not thank me enough because I acted like a mentor and big sister to her daughter. In return, the mother decided to give me this piece. She had kind things she wrote me in a card, but also gave me this piece to always remember her daughter by and the experience we shared together.

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Quiet Strength

Submitted by Gerry in Tucson, AZ, May 2017

On the day before Mother's Day I lost my beloved horse Blue unexpectedly. He just had a heart attack and died during the night. I used to love to kiss him on the nose and hug him around his neck. I have other Willow Trees for my other beloved companions so I wanted one for Blue and was so glad you made this. Me and my Blue.

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Birthday GirlI

Submitted by Lisa Ratliff in TX, May 2017

I just received my first piece, the Birthday Girl for my 59th bday. It is beautiful and I will be collecting more!

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Thank You

Submitted by Laura in Granada Hills, CA, May 2017

I am a social worker and recently transferred to a new location. My colleague/friend gave me this sweet piece before I transferred to my new location. It truly is a gorgeous and heartfelt piece. I can't stop smiling when I see it.

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Bright Star

Submitted by unlnown in Canada, May 2017

Yesterday was my confirmation. It was amazing,
and then my teacher gave this beautiful gift. It gave me joy and happiness and she even said it reminded her of me

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Lavender Grace

Submitted by Cynthia in United Kingdom, May 2017

My son left home without any warning. It was extremely sad when he did that. I bought this for his birthday coming soon even though I am not in touch with him. Knowing that he is never alone, God is with him and most of all loving him no matter what. He is healing him by His grace.

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A Tree A Prayer

Submitted by CherylAnne in Western New York, May 2017

I purchased this item for my birthday. It represents my growth through recovery of addictions to alcohol, & drugs.

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Friendship

Submitted by Krista Campbell in Old Town, Florida, May 2017

I am a multi-cancer survivor. Mary was the American Cancer Society Navigator at our hospital. I was very angry when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Mary not only did her job to help me, but she became my dear friend since. She gave me a framed picture as a gift after one of their cancer walks showing their team name "KRISTA" shortly after I completed my treatments. The "friendship angel" she gave me on my 5th anniversary of survivorship is standing next to that picture. This gift was her way of saying, "Good girl, you can do this and I'm here for you every step of the way!"

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Prayer of Peace

Submitted by CherylAnne in Western New York, May 2017

I purchased this item with much hope and prayers.
I'm a recovered alcoholic who will celebrate 23 years of sobriety in December.
My addiction had put a barrier with my relationship with my daughter. I put her through a lot. She took on the mother role, taking care of her younger sister and myself.
She hasn't been able to put that in the past and move forward.
I selected the Prayer of Peace with hopes I can have a mother daughter relationship.

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With My Grandmother

Submitted by CherylAnne in Western New York, May 2017

I purchased this to display with special handmade gifts I've received from my grandchildren.
I absolutely love it.

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Vigil

Submitted by Sarah Bunyan in Barnstaple, Devon, May 2017

I got this piece as a really close friend sadly passed away 16th Jan 2015 & it's kind of a way to remember him as it was sudden & turned my world upside down for the rest of that yr, even though I'm happily with someone now, I do miss him

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Hope

Submitted by Stacey in Kendallville, IN, May 2017

My husband and I have struggled with infertility for a while now. After being recommended to our current fertility doctor and undergoing treatments for many months, we are finally pregnant. Our last appointment with him is next week, and we purchased this HOPE figurine as a representation of how much hope he's given not just to us, but countless other couples. We are sad to leave him, but thankful that he was brought into our lives. Thank you, Dr. Cooper!

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You shine!

Submitted by Patricia Nugent in Saratoga Springs, NY, May 2017

A friend of many years just gave me a belated Christmas gift - the Shine Willow Tree piece. It reminded me so much of Donna Eden's energy medicine pose called Connecting Heaven and Earth, which I was to teach the very next day to a group of adult students. It was perfect! I love it. Thanks!

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Angel of Comfort

Submitted by Christina Climer in Tulare California, May 2017

I recently had to put my old girl Roxie down . It was unexpected, I knew she was getting old and was starting to have some health issues along with hip issues but was not expecting to put her down just yet but the problems she was having took a toll on her body and euthanasia was the only choice. Iwas one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. My son and daughter-in-law gave me the Angel of Comfort for Mothers Day along with a framed picture of Roxie. I will forever cherish it and will never forget my sweet baby girl Roxie.

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The Quilt

Submitted by Barbara Kuzminski in New Jersey, May 2017

I just received "The Quilt" figurine from a colleague of mine. This has such special meaning to me. My 20 month old grandson, Jonathon Paul, passed away on May 13, 2011. I used to hold Jonathon like this with his quilt around him. I miss him so much. Jonathon is a special child and our hero. He saved the lives of two children through organ donation. My son and daughter-ln-law could not let other families go through what they just went through. They had the chance to save up to eight children. Their Gift of Life saved Wyatt. He received Jonathon's liver and just turned 8 years old. He is in full remission six years later. Our special gift was getting to meet Wyatt. To see this little boy running and laughing due to our gift was amazing. A 16 year old girl received both kidneys. She is also in full remission and just graduated from FIT in NYC. This figurine will aways hold a special place in my heart especially since this past Saturday, May 13th was the six year anniversary of our Jonathon's passing. I now advocate for NJ Sharing Network and educate the public on the importance of saying yes to organ and tissue donation. One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of over 75 through tissue donate. Remember that tissue donation is what is used for reconstructive surgery after masectomy, bone and tissue for sports injuries such as torn achilles, rotator cuffs, burn victims, etc. You have the power to give back. Give the Gift of Life!!

Thank you for these creative and meaningful pieces.

Barbara

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Close to Me

Submitted by Anita Yates in Mount Airy, NC, May 2017

My mother passed away 3 months ago. We were very close and we did a lot together until dementia and other illnesses made it hard to go anywhere for long. The last 5 months of her life I was there every morning and every night to be with her. On weekends I'd day all day and into the night or overnight to be with her. I was the youngest of 3 children that my mom thought of no one but us. She became a single mother at 32 when my father left us. She worked very hard and did without to make sure we had all we needed growing up. I was picked on for having a close, loving relationship with my mom. My mom was my confidante. I never waited for one of my siblings to tell on me for something I did wrong. I always told her first and take my scolding. I moved away for 13 years and I would drive up here and get my mom to come spend weekends with me. When I broke my leg pretty bad and had to have surgery, my mom would drive to my house to spend a few days then she would take me back home with her. She took care of me and I took care of her. My mom was not very affectionate, she was not brought up to be that way but she always told me she loved me and how she was grateful to me for my love and help when my siblings were rarely around. There were times when I would get very anxious and depressed and my mom tried her best to help me though. Those were the times she would hold me. In her last days I was crying softly and she asked me what was wrong. I told her I was just worried about her. She called me to her other side and reached out her arm to me and she hugged me and told me how much she loved me and I was her most loved child. She was going to be OK so stop my worrying. So I had to buy this piece for it reminds me of my mother's loved for me. I am having a very hard time with her death. I miss her so much and I cry for her daily.

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Anniversary Love ever endures

Submitted by Carol Anderson in Calgary Alberta, May 2017

May 12, 2017 was our 33 anniversary. This past year has been an incredibly difficult year for us. On August 29, 2016 our 25 year old son Brandon had just left work in Fort McMurray and was on his way home to Calgary to spend days off with family. Only 3 minutes from work he was killed in a horrific crash caused by another driver. Our three daughters, my husband and I have been attempting to navigate this new path we have been thrust onto.
When I opened the Willow Tree box I was immediately brought to tears. This piece symbolizes how my husband and I have been able to endure the past 8 months, and how we will get through the rest of our lives without our son.

I have always admired the Willow Tree pieces and have given many as gifts, but have never collected them myself. This first one has touched me deeply.

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Our Gift

Submitted by Cheri in Belleville MI, May 2017

I have always wanted one of these beautiful pieces of art. Today for Mother's Day my mom bought me one of a Man and a women holding their baby. My mom and I both cried knowing how much this piece meant to me. I was told at a young age I would never be able to have a baby. My mom, sister and husband were really the only ones to know how much I truly did want to be a mother. Two years ago I was blessed with a beautiful, health baby girl. I had my dream; A wonderful husband and a beautiful baby girl. But then we lost my husband right before our daughter's first birthday. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my husband, although it was not long enough, and for us having our daughter. He is forever in my heart and even though my daughter will never remember him I tell her about him every day so she will still know him in her heart and know how much he wished for her and how much he truly loved us. This piece is a moment frozen in time with our family in true happiness.

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Love of Learning

Submitted by Susan Dolter in Asbury, Iowa, May 2017

I will retire from a 44-year teaching career in a few days. I have been privileged to work with students at a variety of levels: In my youthful years, I taught sixth- through twelfth-grade English; when I turned 50, I began my second career teaching writing at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. At each important juncture of my journey as an educator, one of my students or colleagues has presented me with a Susan Lordi figure celebrating learning. Most recently, two of my student employees in the writing center I direct gifted me with the Love of Learning figure. I prize these testimonials to my effectiveness as a teacher beyond telling. They are reminders of the joy I have taken in a profession where every day called forth the best that was in me.

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Angel of Friendship

Submitted by Greg and Edie Dore in Ohio, May 2017

We adopted our rescue Shih Tzu, Dakota 10 years ago. She was maybe 3 at the time..rescued from a puppy mill. She has been a spectacular dog...perfect in every way. Quiet, never bites nor barks, went with us wherever we went. On the boat...at the beach...on a walk...she was with us. I have tears as I write this...perfect in every way...a gift from God for Edie and I. We had to put her to sleep a couple of weeks ago. She has lived with a heart murmur for several years...the meds and the vet forestalled the inevitable congenital heart failure...which came on Saturday April 15th. We put her down painlessly to end her suffering. She has crossed the Rainbow Bridge...and is now waiting for us in the arms of an angel in the presence of our God. In the room at the vet where she went to sleep was this statue. We had to have one to reside by her ashes in our home. Thanks for your time.

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Mother and Son

Submitted by Nunzietta Holmes in Nederland, May 2017

I am an Irish mother living in the Nederlamds. My son Sean meet an American girl called Laura fell in love moved to America and married last year. Today is mothe'rs day they had a friend bring this beautifully Mother and Child carving to our home this morning. I find it very moving. Nunzietta

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For Always

Submitted by Mary Jo Hudson in Des Moines, Ia, May 2017

In 1990, my husband and I took a vacation without our children. Our third child was 2 at the time. When we returned, he jumped into my lap with his legs straddled around me. He would sit back and look at me and then embrace me, saying, 'Oh, Mommy.' I'm sure he thought I was never coming back and was delighted to see me. Fourteen years later, this son had a traumatic brain injury leaving him in a vegetative state. I spend my days caring for his needs. The mother's hand on the boy's head symbolize the care a mom has for her son, body, soul, mind, and spirit. This sculpture captures a memory and tells the story of the bond between us. Thank you.

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With my Grandmother

Submitted by Troi in New York, NY, May 2017

My grandmother is more like a mother figure. She's always been there for me through my toughest times and I love her so much and I hope one day I'm able to give her everything she deserves.

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By my side

Submitted by Lynn Rowland in Raleigh, NC, May 2017

Tonight my husband gave me the most treasured gift ever! I have two best friends. The three of us did everything together! Although we were not biological sisters, we were sisters in Christ, and loved each other unconditionally, calling ourselves, "the sistas." After five years of fighting brest cancer, our sister lost her fight to a secondary cancer called leptomengial. We were able to share with her how much she meant to us! How much she inspired us to be a better person. Her life was a beautiful testimony of love! Because the three of us shared a very special bond! For me, this piece tells a very personal story of the love between three sisters!

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Mother and Son

Submitted by Robin Boling in Indiana, May 2017

My 25 year old son passed away December 23, 2016. My husband got this for me as a Mother's Day gift. he said it is from our Heavenly Son, Jeremey.

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Angel of Friendship

Submitted by Karen in Massachusetts, May 2017

We have four of these angels for each of our beloved dogs that have passed over the years. We lost my heart dog unexpectedly in January due to a heart tumor. I ordered his angel and it sits next to his ashes and has provided me with so much comfort. My mom just lost her dog yesterday and I just ordered an angel for her.

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Two Together [#26188]

Submitted by Robert Lester II in Davison, Mi. 48423, May 2017

I was looking for something for my wife for Mother's Day, and I came across this piece at the local Hallmark store.
This piece turns out to be exactly what I was looking for as this is Our first Mother's Day.
We lost Our twins last year due to pre-term labor.
Our Daughter [Reed] was born at 21w5d, and our son [Robbie] was lost at 22w5d.
Reed fought for roughly 1-1/2 hours before she passed, Robbie fought for roughly 1/2 hour before he passed; but for that time,We held Our children and let them know how much we Loved them.
This has been devastating to us as we have been trying to have children, but it simply didn't happen until we looked into IVF.
We saved for a long time, and were finally able to afford the procedure, and it took the first time around; needless to say we were extremely happy.
The pregnancy went extremely well until the early labor due to some physical issues.
In late 2016, we went to Chicago to have that issue corrected, and that surgery went very well.
We are currently working on being able to afford another round of IVF; and we will eventually reach that point.
But, Reed and Robbie will ALWAYS be Our first children.

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#27462 Good Cheer!

Submitted by Judith Malecki in Chicago, Illinois, May 2017

I had bought one dozen yellow artificial roses to put by my parents' grave. I did not go to their grave for a long time and had these dozen yellow artificial roses for awhile. I was reading articles about Guardian Angels and it occurred to me that I don't know if my parents were happy in Heaven. So I prayed to my Guardian Angel to give me a sign that my parents are happy in Heaven. Then one day my sister and I went to our parents' grave and I put the dozen yellow artificial roses by their graves. Within 48 hours I was working and I noticed that there were one dozen yellow fresh roses in a bucket and this is the first time that I ever saw yellow roses there. It made me so happy and I know that this was the sign from my Guardian Angel
that my parents were happy in Heaven. I purchased the piece #27462 Good Cheer! to remind me of the sign that I received from my Guardian Angel!

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My sister, my friend

Submitted by Denise Barker in Warrens,Wi., May 2017

My sister has always been there for me !! She is 13 years older,and fighting cancer number four !!! I have some heath problems,but there not really any thing to worry about .. But she worries so much about every one but not herself !! She is a fighter she'll say Lord I'am not really yet..I had my daughter very young,and she never left the hospital .. I lost my mom and my sister is my closest to a mom I have. We talk about every thing a mom would talk to you about. Bonnie's husband would go out of town, and we always had sleep overs. I don't think I would give her up for anything. She is strong,beautiful,and always smiling and singing !!! I LOVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART! PRAYERS AND LOTS OF LOVE GO OUT TO MY SISTER BONNIE! (MOM) PS I really don't think my daughter would be the GREAT wife,mom,and friend if not for Bonnie !!!!

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Good Cheer!

Submitted by Maria DeRosia in Grass Lake, May 2017

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January 2017. I had surgery in February 2017 and upon returning home from the hospital, my very good friend, Erin, who lives in California, sent me "Good Cheer!" Not only did her kind gesture lift me up but the sentiment of optimism that this figurine embodies helped make my recovery that much smoother. Bonus part about this figurine is that yellow is my favorite color! Every time I look at her, I am reminded that she and all of my supporters are wishing me "... sunny days of happiness."

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Prayer of Peace

Submitted by Natalie Powell in Northamptonshire uk, May 2017

I bought this piece on the day of my father's birthday, (he passed away after a short battle with cancer a year and a half ago) I have a little Ashes bird with a sprinkle of his Ashes in which sit next to my bed on a table. we don't have a grave to visit and lay flowers, I saw this piece and fell in love with it instantly. I saw the little girl in prayer for a loved one lost, and the beautiful doves on her dress that symbolise peace, it is so lovely, so she now sits next to my daddy's ashes in prayer for him. It gives me comfort when I look at it. It's lovely so I think every piece can have a different meaning for the buyer. Thank you for such a beautiful comforting piece.

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By my side

Submitted by Dianne McConnell in Victoria, May 2017

I picked the piece 'By my side ' as it reminds me of my two sisters and l; we talk and have fun times together. We have one brother and happily he has the same nutty humor as us girls. I have been buying Willow Tree pieces for many years, for myself and for many others. I wonder if you could make some designs of men on their own, and or groupings of men . We have a close family and I wonder if others might like these choices too.

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Good Cheer and Remember

Submitted by Barb in Lincoln, Montana, May 2017

A year ago (almost) we lost our daughter to cancer. She loved yellow roses (as do I and my mother before us) and her husband had 52 (her age) of them in her casket. When I saw Good Cheer and the roses after her funeral I purchased it to remind me of her daily. I counted the roses in Good Cheer's arms and they are not quite 50, but the effect is the same. I have loved looking at it and it brings me comfort. As her birthday approaches I was looking for something since there will not be a birthday gift this year for the first time in 53 years. When I saw Remember I thought that's the one and I bought it to be a companion piece to Good Cheer. When I got it home and removed it from the box I was astounded to see that the figure had auburn hair, I had not noticed this in the store lighting. This made it all the more touching to me as you see my daughter was a redhead just as I am and my mother was. Thank you, Willow Tree, for making such wonderful figurines that speak to us without saying a word.

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Sunshine

Submitted by Antonia in Germany, May 2017

Hello, my name is Antonia and I’m from Germany. This angel always stands on my bedside table and it is the first I see in the morning – it always reminds me of my lovely familiy.
I am the youngest of five brothers and sisters who are very important to me. The fact that they donate me this Sunshine angel has meant very much to me as I lay in the hospital at that time. My brothers and sisters always stold me that I am the sunshine of the family, even if I wasn’t well. Although I felt the worst of us, I made them happy due to my positive aura. This is caused by my whole attitude towards life: There is always something positive to see…perhaps I am ill because other people could not deal with a diesease such as I do…Nevertheless I am happy that I am still alive and that I could live in freedom with a wonderful familiy.
Thank you for this beautiful angel. It reminds me of being happy to have such a wonderful life and that you have to be thankful for every second of life!!!

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Shine

Submitted by Jaime in Fridley, MN, May 2017

I received this from some dear friends of mine at my one year sobriety yesterday. It is absolutely stunning and is now sitting on my dresser so I see it everyday.

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Good Cheer

Submitted by John Champ in Canby, Oregon, May 2017

The figurine has a lovely bouquet of yellow roses. Our second daughter, Karen, enjoyed yellow tulips. She passed in August 2015 due to a brain aneurysm, related to a genetic syndrome that our family has. We are using this figurine as a representative for our lovely daughter.

She had been a 911 operator at Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC). During her time at Portland 911, Karen developed a Thankfulness project to combat the tendency to focus on all the bad things that come through the 911 system. Her project, noting 3 things daily on her Facebook post that she was thankful for, had a great impact upon the whole department. The department still has a bulletin board up, a Thankfulness board, for keeping track of things that the department staff does for one another. That board has Karen's last Facebook post the day that she died.

The BOEC have an annual awards ceremony to acknowledge the significant actions of 911 staff. Karen was the employee of the year/Telecommunicator of the year for 2013 which she received at the April of 2014 ceremony. At the 2016 ceremony, the BOEC staff created a new award because they realized that they needed the kind of personal input of helpfulness to one another that Karen has exemplified. So they invited us to come in April of 2016 as they made the first award of the "Champ" Award. We have maintained connections with the BOEC staff and apparently have a standing invite to the awards ceremony.

The Good Cheer figurine is a very nice visual reminder of the beautiful person that our daughter Karen was and the beauty she helped create in a very stressful situation of the 911/BOEC department for the city of Portland.

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Angel's Embrace

Submitted by Clair in Alabama, April 2017

My daughter and her husband were devastated recently when, after several years of trying, she experienced an ectopic pregnancy. Shortly after, I'd gone to a Hallmark store to buy a birthday card for their soon-to-be 4 year old.and, by chance, walked past the display of Willow Tree figurines. Angel's Embrace immediately caught my eye. As a mom, it hurts when you can't help your children when they are hurting, but this figurine is a comforting reminder for them that their little one is in loving hands.

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New Life

Submitted by Beth El Fattal in Bellingham Washington., April 2017

Hi -

My name is Beth, and I have grown up with your figurines all my life. I was in kindergarten when my mom first discovered your work; she bought one for our family after my younger sister had just been born: the New life figurine. I remember loving that figuring but being jealous I wasn't a part of it.

A few days later my mom bought a single figure for me that knelt - almost appearing to look over at the baby - and our little family was complete. We moved around a lot and our willow tree family moved with us, ever so carefully packaged and lovingly displayed as a centerpiece of our home.

Our tradition grew - and willow tree families became my mom's typical wedding gift. She loved shopping for the perfect fit - each time giving a unique figurine. My family is spread across the country - and your figurines are in every home.

Bear with me - I know this is a little long but it's so important and honestly it's a pretty good story.

My mom missed my 8th grade graduation because she was working 2 jobs to support our family. At this point - my dad had become emotionally abusive to us - and stopped working. I'll never forget though when she was about to leave - she handed me a box. You guessed it, a willow tree figurine. It's called Close to Me, a gift that brought me to tears, and that still sits proudly on my bookshelf even now: in my sophomore year of college.

A few years later - my mom was physically abused by my father. It tore our family apart - it's a ridiculously long story - but all I'll say is that it was a hard time for all of us and I remember distinctly the day my mom quietly put away the willow tree figurine with my dad in it...leaving only my sister's and mine lonely on our mantle.

My mom is the most incredibly selfless and strong person - and such an amazing single mom. This isn't really my story honestly, it's more the story of a woman who learned how to stand on her own and support two daughters who will never really be able to repay her.

My mom and my little sister will be moving into the first home they've ever lived in without my dad sometime this summer - and with Mother's Day coming up, and knowing I wanted to get her something meaningful, something to show our smaller family in a positive way...I thought this could be an incredible way of making this new home a little brighter and stronger. A willow tree family would be an incredible way to do that, and I would love to see our family back up on the mantle again where it belongs. I love your pieces - but if I'm being honest I was hoping to ask for a more personalized piece - with a mother and two daughters attached - because I miss the way our family looked all together on the mantle...and I know my mom does too. I'm more than willing to pay for it or pay extra for it. I realize it's a lot to ask, and even though it's a long shot, I hope you understand why I have to at least try.

No matter what, your beautiful pieces always made our home a brighter place, and I wanted to share that with you.

Thank you.

-Beth

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Prayer of Peace

Submitted by Stephanie in Alberta, Canada, April 2017

My Mother passed away on March 6, 2017. Earlier in 2016, doctors discovered a spot on her kidney. The decision was to remove her kidney as it was revealed to be cancer. The doctor was confident that this would be the answer. My dear, beautiful assured me that everything was going to be okay. She and my Dad trusted the doctors and so did I. The surgery (January 2017) was a success, the doctor confirmed it was cancer, and they had removed it all. Over a week later, some health concerns started appearing. There were tests being done to find the root cause. With diligence and care of the doctors and nurses, weeks went by and test results came back, some inconclusive. On February 21, a petscan was done and on March 2, the results came back and it was conclusive that my Mom had two aggressive and rare forms of kidney cancer. It had been in her bones, but was hiding prior to/following the surgery - until the petscan. Following the surgery, the cancer had metastasized and from January - March 2017, it had progressed into her spine. My Mom was at stage 4 in only a matter of 2 months and was given months to live. She told my sister and me that it was going to be quick and she did not have much time. A day and a half after her diagnosis, the cancer moved from her spine to her lungs. My beautiful and vivacious Mom did pass away on March 6, 2017. After 4 short days, she passed quickly. Our lives are forever changed and the journey is full of tears, beautiful memories and bursting love for a Wife, Mother and Friend.
My Mom loved Willow Tree Angels and she has so many in their home. I would buy Mom one each Christmas. With Mothers' Day approaching, I will honor my beautiful mother. I bought the Prayer of Peace Angel as the loss of my mother in such a short period of time has been the most challenging time in my life. There are so many beautiful Mother Daughter pieces that I will add to my (at this time small) collection. Thank you for your beautiful collection. Love be with you - always. Stephanie

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Kindness (girl, darker skin tone and hair color)

Submitted by Kate in Ohio, April 2017

I found this at a local Hallmark and I had to have it. I adopted a Ragdoll cat from the shelter about 5 or so years ago and named her Annie. Annie was my best friend and I absolutely loved her. She got sick last year and passed away. I have never really gotten over her death, and when I saw this I instantly thought of her and our bond.

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The Guardian

Submitted by Autumn in Somerset, Pa, April 2017

I was given my first Willow tree Angel after losing my baby girl during my first pregnancy! My heart was completely broken and my world was shattered. The angel I was given was the the Guardian with a card that read I now had my own guardian angel! It was so thoughtful but so heart breaking as I looked at this figurine holding a baby I longed to have! It sounded so insane not being able to look at this thoughtful gift for that reason! It meant so much to me and now I have it somewhere special in my house!

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Spirited Child and inquisitive Child

Submitted by Tracy R Barber in Georgia, April 2017

I received two Willow Tree pieces today from my dear friend Patti. The pieces are so beautifully sculptured and I have decided to start a collection to place in my office. My idea is to mark my momentous occasions and milestones with a figurine.

Thank you Willow Tree for such beautiful work, and Thanks Patti for the gift.

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Angel of Mine

Submitted by Misty in New Mexico, April 2017

My husband and I delivered our first baby in 2010. Alyssa Marie was loved and wanted more than anything. We found out at 20 weeks that her kidneys were bad. She was stillborn at 32 weeks. It was devastating but holding my little girl in the hospital was special and important. A good friend bought me this willow tree the following Mother's Day. He said I would always be a mother whether she was in my arms or not. I will never forget it.

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Beautiful Wishes

Submitted by Sahar in İran, April 2017

Today, my boyfriend got this beautiful gift for me. Because he knows i love flowers. He is so kind and lovely. İ love him

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Together, Promise,We are three, Angel of Mine, New Dad

Submitted by Dyane Jean in London, England, April 2017

I first fell in love with Willow Tree figurines in February 2013 when I got engaged and the Together figurine completely captured the sense of love and intimacy between my fiancé and me. I bought myself the Promise figurine to top our wedding cake in July 2014, and the We Are Three in August 2015 when our daughter was born. My husband knows how much I love every one of your pieces, so for every Birthday, Mothers Day and Christmas since I've received a different one. My collection is at 12 so far and I love how these figurines map my life and family relationships.

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Father and Daughter

Submitted by Ann in Chester, April 2017

My Dad lost me to adoption more than 40 years ago. I found him recently, made contact and we have been rebuilding our father-daughter relationship since. It's intensely bittersweet; the profound joy of reunion is matched by the realisation of all we lost, for no good reason. We were out shopping recently and as soon as Dad saw this piece, he wanted to give it to me as a gift. It now sits by my desk and every day I'm reminded that Dad loved me, missed me and thought of me for every one of those 15,420 days we were apart. We won't ever get back the time we lost but we will treasure the time we have, however long that may be.

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