For me, the most exciting thing about creating something is seeing it take on a life of its own when it is shared.
I had no idea when I designed this spoon charm that it would ever have quite so much meaning to someone else.
A girl emailed me to order the spoon charm. I posted the charm to her and asked her to let me know when it arrived safely. I came into work on a Sunday morning and received this lovely email.
The charm arrived today and its perfect! I know she’s going to love it.
I thought I’d send over a little explanation of why I bought a spoon…basically my sister suffers from Lupus and there is a story/theory behind how sufferers cope with the disease which involves spoons! I’ve attached the PDF if you want to read.
I thought it would be nice to give her her own little spoon to always have in reserve a bit cheesy but… yeah!
Thank you again for your speedy service, I really appreciate it. And I’ll let you know how it goes down”
I immediately read the attachment. It was an article written by a woman called Christine Miserandino in which she explained her “Spoon Theory”
The spoon theory explains what it’s like to have an illness by giving someone without an illness imaginary spoons that they have to give back every time they make a choice to do something. When you are left with no spoons, you can’t do anything else for the rest of the day, so it explains how someone who has an illness constantly has to make choices about what they prioritise doing. That’s why the gift of this spoon meant so much.
I absolutely loved the thought that had gone into the gift and the story behind it and I was very excited to know how the gift had been received. Her sister got in touch recently to let me know what she though of it.
Here’s what she said.
“I was diagnosed with Lupus aged 14 and have grown up with illness, so I understand what my body requires and know my limits. As a teen I found this hard to come to terms with and have struggled emotionally as a result. My main symptoms are, when I am having a flare, major joint pains (to the point of being unable to do simple tasks independently), sun sensitivity, fatigue, depression and muscle weakness. On a day to day basis I have fatigue and general weakness, but it is something I just try to get on with.
I’ve always tried to prove to myself and others that I wouldn’t let the illness affect me and have trained and work hard and successfully as a primary school teacher. I battle everyday with the fatigue and have to pace myself and am a real nap-lover!
I joined the Facebook Lupus UK group some months ago and people started to mention ‘spoons’, to which I initially had no idea about. I asked about it and someone sent me a link to the Lupus spoons story. Reading it, I felt myself nodding along and agreeing with the ideas within the tale. I immediately sent it to my parents and sister, who agreed it was a wonderful metaphor for the illness.
Shortly after, I got engaged to my wonderful, understanding partner. He has been a real rock for me and is very caring and supportive of my needs. My sister told me she had a present for me, which I assumed was an engagement present.
We had a meal at my Mum’s house and Sarah (my sister) presented me with an engagement card and a small box with a Christine Sadler ribbon around it. I knew it was jewellery and puzzled over what was inside.
When I opened it and found a spoon my initial thought was ‘is there a wedding spoon tradition I’m unaware of?!’. Sarah said ‘I’m giving you a spoon. So you always have one. A Lupus sister spoon’. It then clicked why I was holding this perfect, shiny, miniature spoon and I burst into tears. It was such an unexpected, thoughtful gift and I treasured it straight away. I gave my sister a huge hug. My mum came in from the kitchen, saw the spoon, clicked what it was about and also cried. A family friend dining with us, who had no idea why three women were crying over a spoon, sat there somewhat baffled, but knew this was obviously something special. She has subsequently read the Lupus spoon story and understands the significance!
Anyway, I own a charm bracelet, but it is more of a keepsake than something worn, so I put the spoon on a necklace I had spare. I wear my spoon on a regular basis and have gotten comments about how unusual it is, leading to me explaining the story.”
Any object, regardless of it’s monetary worth, only has special value to me if it has an emotional meaning. I have to thank these two sisters for sharing their story with me and showing me how magical this little spoon really is.