Mum Pham's Jade Bracelet

by - May 10, 2020

Pretty much every older Asian lady in my life wears a jade bracelet, and I’ve come to the realisation that I am now that older Asian lady to my nieces. I broke the cheap jade bracelet Mum Pham gave me a couple of years ago, and I was reluctant to wear the high quality bracelet I inherited from Mum because, well, I broke my last one. Mum’s one is dense and has flecks of black and a swirl of brown on a dominantly green and white band. It’s definitely in a different league to the one I used to wear when it comes to quality.

Towards the end of her time, Mum Pham had become weak and lost blood flow. She stopped wearing her jade bracelet because it was too heavy and cold. She started to carry it around in her money pouch. You know the money pouches that you’re encouraged to use overseas so pickpockets can’t get at your goods while you’re vulnerable in a foreign land? Mum wore that all the time and it was stashed with cash, jewellery, . I’m trying to picture when I first noticed and I think she started wearing it after we got robbed in Australia, and she lost family heirlooms and other valuables.

Anyhoo, back to the bracelet that spent a year or so following Mum around in her money pouch. After she passed away, it spent over 5 years in Mum’s make up / jewellery box that I’d inherited. I recently decided it’s silly not to wear Mum’s bracelet out of fear of breaking it. I’m sure Mum would rather I wear it so I remember her whenever I glimpse it or clang it on something, or whenever I fall asleep on it funny and my wrist aches the next morning, or whenever I hug Boyfriend Pham too tight and it jabs him, and I’m reminded he’s never met Mum but if he did she probably would jab him and tell him to eat more of whatever delicious feast she’s served up. It now lives on my right wrist just like it used to live on Mum’s. This photo is from 2004 on Big Brother Pham's birthday - seafood stir fry noodles with a side of chicken soup.

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