Long Overdue Newsletter: May 2021
The Stories That Stay With You
When comparing headline news vs. something like Lord of the Rings, one is real and the other is a work of fantasy. And even though Lord of the Rings makes the audience feel good, the news reminds us that life is hard, tragedies are real, and every night there are more bad things happening.
But Tim Keller shares how J.R.R Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings) used to argue that fantasy tales were actually more realistic. Tolkien believed these stories pointed to deeper truths about love, about good triumphing over evil, and light overcoming darkness. Keller goes on to say why LOTR (or Star Wars or superhero movies) are always so popular is because, deep down, audiences believe (or hope to believe) good wins in the end.
It's a nice thought... but is it realistic? Especially after years like 2020 and 2021, it's difficult to hold onto such an optimistic viewpoint. For millions who've entered a shadow of loss, it feels like the real world and the fantasy world are lightyears apart.
But every now and then, you run into a story that bridges the gap between these two worlds. A story that starts with a real-life tragedy and ends with a heroic triumph like something you'd read in a fantasy story. Our upcoming Long Overdue book, "Safe Landing: A Family's Journey Following the Crash of American Airlines Flight 191" is one of these stories.
American Airlines Flight 191
On this date, 42 years ago (May 25th, 1979), Kim Jockl, Jim Borchers, and Melody Smith received the worst news of their lives. The footage playing on the TV showed a field outside of O'Hare and a giant cloud of smoke. What began as a Chicago tragedy slowly turned into a personal one. In a few hours of panic, confusion, and uncertainty, Kim, Jim, and Melody found out their parents, Bill and Corrine, were two of the passengers who lost their lives on Flight 191.
I was starting to write out everything Kim, Jim, and Melody went through and how they rallied together as a family over these last five decades, but this story is meant to be told as a full book, not a couple paragraphs in a newsletter. I also don't want to give away anything that happens in the book. It's best to experience their story with surprise and awe.
So what I'd like to do, instead, is share one aspect about the book, talk about how this book came together, share what's happening next with the publishing process and how you can support the authors over the next few months.
A Letter From Mom
Melody (the oldest sibling) received a letter from her mom in January of 1979. This was in honor of Melody's 32nd birthday and was just four months before the flight.