Long Overdue Newsletter: September 2021

Updated: Oct 1


Siblings Jim Borchers, Kim Jockl, and Melody Smith celebrating the release of their Long Overdue book titled "Safe Landing." The three created this hardcover edition for their family first and are now working on a separate version to be released publicly.

Quote of the Month


“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold,
but you learn to dance with the limp."

- Anne Lamott

Homecoming & The Grand Reveal



I hesitated using the Anne Lamott quote above. It talks about death, and losing someone, and broken hearts.


This month's newsletter is supposed to be the complete opposite emotion. We're sharing a story of triumph and celebration.


So, right when I was about to find something more upbeat, I looked at the cover again of Safe Landing. And there's Bill and Corrinne Borchers, dancing together, Corrinne's leg up in the air.


I looked at the quote again.


You learn to dance with the limp.

That's when it hit me: the two parts of the story can't be separated. It wouldn't be the triumph and celebration that it is today without the tragic first act. Switching to an upbeat quote ends up diminishing just how much Melody, Jim, and Kim went through over the last 40+ years.


What's inspiring, to me, is the whole authentic story. We shared more about this in our May newsletter, but just to give a quick recap:


Kim Jockl, Jim Borchers, and Melody Smith received the worst news of their lives on May 25th, 1979. The three found out that their parents, Bill and Corrinne Borchers, were two of the 271 passengers who lost their lives on American Airlines Flight 191. Over the last 40+ years, these three siblings have rallied together, regularly honoring their parents' lives, and they've created a physical memorial for everyone to honor their loved ones.


Kim, Jim, and Melody had been meeting every Thursday for the last several years to share and record stories about their journey with the goal of turning it all into a book someday.


Well, that someday has finally arrived. Our Creative Director, Annie Leue, put the finishing touches on her incredible hardcover book design. We ordered 12 books from the company Blurb to print and ship to Chicago.


Now it was time for the authors to see their finished work!







Cheers!

On Labor Day (September 6th), they were inviting over the whole extended family. The date ended up aligning both with Melody's husband Bob's 75th birthday and, coincidentally, this year would've been their parents' 75th wedding anniversary (2.14.1946).


For those who know Melody, Kim, and Jim, you know they don't settle for a bland, boring presentation. We sent them some of our boxes and watched as the authors decked them out.

Then got the house ready...

Outdoors too...

Let the party begin!

They distributed the copies to their kids and grandkids. Had a big celebration. Then did some apple picking in Bob and Melody's backyard.

Tragedy gets a big word, but it never gets the final word


We were working on this book during COVID and every day there was that dreaded case counter and death toll rising on the nightly news. Throughout 2020, and a good chunk of 2021, there has been this feeling that death is the unbeatable chess player and bad news always seems to win.


But then I'd go back to this book, specifically a letter Melody shares in the early chapters. She received this letter from her mom just before her 32nd birthday, four months before the crash. It gives me goosebumps reading it again after seeing all the photos of their family celebration.