Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I love the Willow Tree figurines.

The very first one I got was from a sweet student years and years ago (sweet little Kellie Beth!) and I'd not really seen them before. I was so honored to get it--The Angel of Learning--For those who delight in the joy of learning--because as a teacher, it really touches your heart to know you've touched someone else's.

When we moved from North Carolina to Maryland, I left such a wonderful and dear group of 'teacher' friends who were really family. They gave me my next one, Courage--Bringing a triumphant spirit, inspiration and courage--and I ADORED it. They said it screamed me--fighting for the underdog and telling the world, "You're not the boss of me!" (Yes, I am a little like that!) What I love the most is that my friends thought of me as courageous...but in honesty, it's not courage that drove me to fight the fights but my pure and simple love of the causes for which I fight. I loved that my friends got that about me.

The next one I received was just recently--my birthday last year. It was from a sweet, sweet friend who was really instrumental in making all my IVF treatments easier on the work schedule. My birthday is March 7, and Matthew was transferred March 6. The angel I got was the Angel of Hope--Sharing the light of hope and courage. It couldn't have been MORE PERFECT.

Very shortly after Matthew died, another sweet, sweet friend sent me the Angel's Embrace ornament. She wanted to be sure that at Christmas and always, we'd have the remembrance of our sweet boy. The wording is, "Hold close that which we hold dear."

I also got the Loving Angel--Love, pure and simple--from a group of people with whom John works. In truth, people I've never met and yet, I was so touched by the generosity and compassion they shared with us. One simple rose in remembrance of the pure and simple love for my baby boy.

I never buy these for myself but I just love the sentiment and perfect thought that goes into someone giving them to me. I feel very loved.

Every now and then, I stop by the shelf they are displayed on in different stores because I like to buy them for others when I find them to be significant and appropriate, so I look to see what's out there.

I had one of those "Must get out of this store or I'll lose it" moments today when I saw this one, simply named Quietly--Quietly encircled by love.

I thought about how this is one I'd never receive.

But this was one I'd desperately love to have.

I should have. Two sweet boys, loving on their mama.


Speaking of these sweet figurines, if you check out A Baby Named Nathan, you can win one of the sweetest ones I've seen--Angel of Mine...So loved, so very, very loved.

Again, sigh.


  1. *sighing* with you tonight, friend. (((hugs)))

  2. Wow, you've got quite a collection. I like these, too - my friend gave me the Angel of Mine one on the day we buried Jeremiah.

  3. Oh honey, I know that "I've got to get out of here feeling" *sigh*

    I do love those figures...I gave one to my Mother one Christmas. It was of a Grandmother and a little boy, to symbolize my Mom and my little love. Now, when I visit my Mother, that figure torments me. I look at it and wonder if I'll ever give her one that symbolizes something in my life, or will I continue to live vicariously through my Brother's.

    On a happy note, when my brother was deployed 3 pilots had to eject and they lost 2 aircraft. So, I sent them guardian angel boys holding black labs (from willow tree) and they hung them in their lockers. I continue to thank GOD for saving their lives, as there work here on earth was not finished :)

    Much love and thank you for the support that you have given me. I am so thankful for you.


  4. *sigh* I sigh a lot... it's a way of pausing and moving on with the next breath. It's a way of letting go.

    I love these figurines, too, especially when they are given with meaning. The few I have are gifts. For Mother's Day this year, my mom gave me a little one of a child holding a little wire "balloon" that says hope. That sits with a couple of other little things that people gave us after the miscarriages.

    A few years ago, my husband gave me one of a man and woman embracing. I realized just the other day that I had set that it atop the memory boxes in our bedroom. Three boxes (including one "hope" box with the most recent HPTs) and us on top. That's my family. I have three babies now. And I sighed at the realization.

  5. You DO deserve that one! You DO have two sons and they are both loving on you always, like you are loving on them ... but I'm sighing that it's not the way it should be - with them both there, embracing you in the tangible. I love you. I love those boys ... and I'm blessed to love all of you because you share your heart so beautifully and with so much vulnerability. XOXO

  6. Those are so beautiful. The end of this post made me cry. You DO have two little boys, loving on their amazing mama. I just they were both here with you.


  7. Tessa is so right in her comment. You are that mother with two little boys. No one can ever take that from you, because it just is. Never doubt for one second that Matthew loves his mama. xoxo

  8. oh Lori, wouldnt it be amazing if the ONE you bought yourself could be that one...that can be even more special as its the ONE that you bought for YOUR TWO sons...**sigh, tears hugs**...all of that and have a beautiful story with these statues...I only started to notice them last week or the week before i think and I thought for art that has no face it says so much just by looking at it. The one with the baby in the arms brought me to tears right in the aisle...((hugs))

  9. I hear you on the sigh, I am with you. I have the Hope angel on a shelf and I look at it often, I love it as well.

  10. Lori, these are beautiful :) We're actually using the "Promise" one ( as our cake topper at our wedding. My mom bought both the cake topper version and figurine version for me.

    And like Tessa and others said, you do have two sons, the one you will hold in your arms and the angel who stands at your side. Your story has touched me greatly. Excited for little Luke to join your family!

    God bless!
    Meghan Orr

  11. I collect them, too. I actually saw that same exact one the other day---it is bittersweet, Lori. Bittersweet. But that will be my picture for you in Heaven. xoxo

  12. Sometimes {sigh} just says it best. The Willow Tree figurines are very special. I received "Cherish - awaiting a miracle" while I was pregnant with Kristen and "Guardian - love and protect thee, forever" after she died. They pull at my heartstrings, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness and meaning of them.

    Though it may not be the way you had hoped, you ARE quietly encircled by love, Lori. Praying for you...

  13. i love these figurines too! it means so much more when they come from a friend. I know that "sighing" feeling. Thinking of you. xx

  14. Touched and sad. Loving you and your boys.

  15. (((HUGS))). I love those too!! I never collected until I became pregnant with Zac and Evan. Brett bought my first one (that I hand-picked, but that's okay). I finally let myself get the CHERISH one (the pregnant woman) "Awaiting a miracle". How I wish I knew how badly we were going to need those miracles when I bought it...yet I never could have imagined!
    After Zac passed away, a friend of mine bought me the Angel of Comfort "offering an embrace of comfort and love". It broke me to tears.
    Then I purchased the Angel's Embrace "Hold close that which we hold dear"...but this one I include our first twins in too because i never had anything for them, and because I pray God holds them just as tight as he does Zac, as I do in my heart.
    I found a keepsake ornament box with twins on it called Two Together "Love in abundance"...and even though Zac may not be here...he is still abundantly loved (this is the profile pic on my FB that you've now seen:)) I received the same one from a friend overseas, so we've names that one special for my first twins, Jack and Ethan.
    I've also bought Evan the Birthday Boy figurine "Celebrate your day!"...which of course was painfully bitter-sweet, but he deserves a special something just for him too.
    And I've recently bought the Angel of Freedom "Allowing dreams to soar"...which I'm working on.

    I love the collection of Willow Tree!! I've given special ones to certain friends and family...but other than the keepsake box one, I haven't received any others. That's okay though...I enjoy picking out the ones that I need for particular stages of my grief/joy/healing process.

    But you are right...don't these precious figurines just make you *sigh*!! And how precious that such special people would know just the right ones to bless you with!!!

    (((hugs again)))

  16. Love you, Lori! The Willow Tree collection is awesome...I've received 7 of them from friends and family. my mom got me the one that's pregnant and both my mom and friend Kala gave me one for Mother's Day. My mom gave me that Angel of Mine one. I can't remember what they are all called, but I plan on writing a blog about it. Oh, Lori, my heart aches so much for you. I wish you had both your boys to love on you. This sort of reminds me of my experience in Michael's yesterday...I plan on blogging about that today or tomorrow. Blessings! :)

  17. exhale and repeat.

    Yep, that is what it is all about lately. I wish for all of us that there were some better and more appropriate 'things' for our missing children to be included in.

    I wish that those around us 'got it' like other baby loss parents do. That our heavenly children's names would always be spoken aloud. That all grandparents included our 'angel babies' in their grand child boasts to others. That there would never be a day that we felt WE HAD TO REMIND others that our child existed.

  18. When I was shopping for things for Caleb's funeral, I walked into Hallmark in search of a baseball birth announcment. I didn't find it, but found myself standing in front of the Willow Tree items and had to flee the store - it was just too much for me to bare.

    Shortly after one of the ladies at church gave me this one: with a note that when she saw it it made her think of Caleb and I. I just bawled. It was so a God thing! Then, shortly after my mom got me this one: for my birthday - the little boy's hair is the exact color of my DD's.

    I saw the one of the mama with the two sweet boys the other day and just stared at it before walking out of the store. I just have to have it. I will have it. At some point I will gather up the strength to walk back into that store and buy it, and put it on my mantle with the other two.


  19. Julia's ashes are in the "Loved, so very loved" box. (Same carving, but on the front of a small box) I cried when I saw it in the store and knew it was the one.

    I love those statues too...

  20. Sighing with you, here...

    I love Willow Tree also. My mom gave each of us a Willow Tree Nativity set on our last Christmas with her. I treasure it, and feel my own sign rest on my heart each year when I pull it out to display amongst my other Christmas ornaments.

    Thank you for sharing these.

    Love and Prayers for you...

  21. Hi friend, I miss you. I do check on you and make sure you are doing as best as you possibly can...and even though all of this is soooo hard to navigate, you do so with such grace and beauty...and you continue to help us are beautiful. I recently received the Angel's Embrace figurine from my Aunt and balled my eyes out..."sigh" too. Love you xxx

  22. Reading this made me turn to look at our bookshelf, where my Willow Tree Angel figurine sits...... Quietly. I have two boys, and so do you. I believe you SHOULD have it, because Matthew will always be that little guy on your lap.

  23. I love these angels, my mother in law actually has one of these. They're beautiful.