This is the story of a lucky bamboo brooch.
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 meet 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 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 Japan, a land completely foreign to her that will become her 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 brooch in the window. It’s a lush shade of green and hand-carved as lucky bamboo. She could use a little luck right now.
How did the story turn out? She passed away a few years ago at age 81 still married to that Marine.
This is the brooch and that woman was my aunt.