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Christmas and Our Family and IT

Rachel Fearnley
Christmas and Our Family and IT

We are back to that busy time of year where our senses are being bombarded with constant reminders that we would all have the ‘perfect’ Christmas if we bought into the latest ‘must-have’ product or buy the people in our lives expensive gifts to show our love and affection. I’m no bah humbug and I too am guilty of getting into the list making mind-set (I do love making lists!) but I do also worry that amid this frenzy there are families up and down the country who are dreading Christmas. We know that this is the case every year for countless people for countless of reasons. But the families that are predominantly in my thoughts are the ones where a parent has a life-limiting illness and there is uncertainty whether this will be their last Christmas together as a family. The story of the Williamson family in Our Family and IT begins and ends with Christmas. Throughout the year they try to come to terms with Angela’s diagnosis and each have their own stories to tell about their experience of living with ‘IT’. Do they get away for their traditional Christmas break with Angela’s mum in Norfolk? Do the three children get the chance to do the same things they always do during the festive period? Is life on hold while they wait to see what happens to Angela? The book is a story, it is fiction, however it is also based on my research and weaved throughout the plot are things that are very likely to be happening to families every day. It tells of their emotional struggles and how they do and do not cope with all the changes and challenges that the illness brings. It is a book with a social conscience and one that I hope people will read and enjoy but also stop, think and ask questions. Would that REALLY happen to Daniel the fourteen year old? Would Nathan (the father) REALLY behave like that? Would the professionals REALLY respond like that? If these kind of questions are asked and Our Family and IT makes people think a little bit more about the impact of parental life-limiting illness on children and family life then I will be happy. I’m off now to check my lists (again) but I will also be thinking about the Williamson family and all the families just like them who right now are trying to cope with illness. My hope is that they can all find some peace and have the Christmas they would like. If you would like to read Our Family and It or buy it as a stocking filler for a book lover, please go to the link below and support a small business, thank you.  


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