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The day my mother’s legacy was stolen

One morning, between bloomy sips of jasmine tea, my mother decided it was finally time to retrieve the jade bracelet from the safe.

My mother didn’t wear jewelry — her pierced ears went unadorned and she no longer wore a wedding band. The jade bracelet was the exception. The bangle was a seamless ring of jade, half an inch thick, heavier than you’d expect. It was smooth and cold as a bar of soap. Placed on a table the bracelet didn’t just clink, but left gentle vibrations hovering in the air. Unlike inferior jade, dyed to achieve its artificial emerald color, my mother’s bracelet was naturally translucent. This jade was pale as the moon, the softest whisper of green. Its flawless surface broke into endless fragments of colors when held to the light. With her tiny wrists, only my mother could slip it on without forcing her fingers into a fleshy cone, without squeezing the stone over her knuckles.

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