That Lucky Bamboo Brooch

This is the story of a lucky bamboo brooch.

A New Beginning

A young woman in her 30s begins the long journey from Ft. Worth, Texas to Okinawa, Japan.  It’s the early 60s and she is on her way to join her new husband, a Marine, who is stationed there.  Life has been a rough go so far with a difficult first marriage and then life as a single mother.  But now there’s a future waiting for her over 7,000 miles away.

She thinks about the last few weeks and what a whirlwind it’s been.  First a marriage ceremony in her living room with the groom over shortwave radio.  Then the hasty packing and now the long trip from Meacham Field to Naha Airport, a land completely foreign to her that will become her new home.

A stopover in Guam provides a welcome respite to stretch her legs and get some fresh air.  In the airport walking by a small jewelry shop, she spies a jade bamboo brooch in the window.  It’s a lush shade of green and hand-carved in the shape of lucky bamboo.  She could use a little luck right now.

A Lucky Brooch

In many Asian cultures, jade is considered a symbol of luck, protection, and harmony.  Bamboo is a symbol of resilience, growth, and prosperity.

When people combine jade and bamboo in jewelry, they often believe it brings good luck, wards off negativity, and attracts positive energy. Various traditions suggest that wearing jade bamboo jewelry brings harmony, balance, and fortune to the wearer.  I wonder if she knew that when she purchased the brooch.

How did the story turn out?   She passed away a few years ago at age 81 still married to that Marine.  

This is the bamboo brooch and Wilma was my aunt.  Click here to see the other piece of jewelry she purchased in Guam.

wilma and that lucky jade brooch
Aunt Wilma, 1942
Wilma Hill Stokes, 1956, 37. BW
Aunt Wilma, 1960s

Begin your special story with vintage jewelry from Madge’s Hatbox

Jade & Coral guam jewelry
The other brooch Wilma purchased in Guam

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