Hope is a word full of promise.
For awhile now, I've been hoping for a literary agent. Sometimes, I whisper my hopes into the indifferent, twitching ears of my cats. (because they are the only beings around during the day) Other times, I shout hope into the air like a helium balloon, and then let go. If I'm feeling introspective, I simply say a prayer. I've learned that my dream will happen through persistence, hard work and failure. Failure? Yes. Because failure is necessary - to learn. I'm polishing my manuscript and learning more about the craft of writing everyday. I'm like an inch worm on a giant Redwood.
However, there's another kind of hope and I have a blood connection to it. The Hope Diamond. Donna, the beautiful lady in blue, (above) wearing a priceless gem in the shadow of her neck, is related to me. My cousin Jane kept this sepia-colored selection from the Star Tribune for 54 years! Now, the copy and the story that surrounds it, are mine.
The real diamond is Hopeless.
In the article, I discovered the path of destruction refracted from the Hope Diamond like a deadly mirage. The bad luck that plagued almost everyone that came into contact with the gem is mind boggling. Here are three examples:
*Jean-Baptiste Tavernier sold the original 100 carat stone to Louis XIV. After a time, Jean was killed by wild dogs.
* Prince Ivan Kanitovski was a Hope Diamond recipient. Later, he hung the rock on the slender neck of Lorens Laduc, a Parisian dancer. Unfortunately, her dancing career hit a mis-step. It got tripped up when the Prince murdered her.
* Lady May Yohue-Hope (the diamond's namesake) had a dream that the diamond possessed frightening, malevolent forces - she never wore it again. Sadly, she left Lord Francis Pelham Hope for an army captain who went bankrupt. In the end, she was brought to her knees. Literally. She became a washer women.
Bad luck - check
Suicide - check
Murder - unfortunately
illness - yup.
So, what happened to my relative? The one that modeled the necklace at the Smithsonian?
She had a life impacted by illness and tragedy. What else did you expect?
These days, the Hope Diamond can be found at the Museum of National History.
Here's the original article from 54 years ago...
What are you hoping for?