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  • "Jade", he explained, "is there to protect you, like an amulet. If you were to fall, the bad energy would be absorbed by the jade and it would protect your arm, your body. All the harm would go into the jade and not into you."

    I picked this one because it looks like snow in the mountains, settling down atop fir trees on a foggy morning. Plus, there is a little opaque green heart alone in the field of white.

    During the traditional Vietnamese wedding ceremony, my mother-in-law first greased my hand with lotion, and in 30 long seconds, managed to get that stone bracelet past my knuckles and the meaty part of my palm down onto my wrist, where it has been for over 15 years now. I only really notice it unless I accidentally clink it against the window of a car while a passenger, since it is on my non-dominant (right) hand. It can never come off due to the bones and shape of my hand.

    When we divorced, I tried to smash it off my arm with a hammer. Even though I stuffed towels under the jade to protect my skin, and gave it a few good whacks, the blows did nothing to break its integrity or shatter the incredibly hard jadeite structure.

    Years later, I am glad my Shazam bracelet is still there. So far, it seems like my body is covered by its powers, but what is there to protect my heart?

    I don't think they make bracelets for that.

    Perhaps bravery and noticing are the finest innoculations we have.
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