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!
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...
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.
And it got me thinking, it's life that's the unbeatable chess player, not death. Life is the big alpha dog on the block, death is the small dog with a louder bark. When tragedy struck with its very best shot, something unthinkable like what Melody, Kim, and Jim went through, it ultimately couldn't stop their family, and love for each other, and the wishes Grandma Nudy mapped out in her letter all those years ago.
From talking with the authors and reading their book, it's clear their healing didn't happen over night. And it's never totally complete. Just like Lamott said, "It still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."
But for generations to come, that image of Bill and Corrinne dancing on the cover will continue to live on. Melody, Kim, and Jim's stories will live on. And their book will be this incredible reminder that even the hardest bouts of adversity can't stop a family's safe landing.
What Happens Next?
We're in the process of making a version of this book available for the public. No release/completion date set in stone just yet, but we're aiming at either late 2021 or early 2022. If you'd like to stay in the loop with updates please fill out this form. More news coming over the next few months!
Keeping Up With Long Overdue
"Who you calling a small dog with a big bark?"
- Crash, our 25-lb Team Dog
Before diving into the regularly scheduled social media and website links, just want to share some news of another September arrival...
Caleb Thomas O'Brien
September 4th, 2021
Eh, alright, couple more photos then we'll call it good. Putting a hard cap at 6 photos... for now.
The best place to keep up with all things Long Overdue is via our monthly newsletter. And our Instagram page. If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who might enjoy it as well, let us know, we'll make sure to add them to our subscriber list.
Also check out our website - Long Overdue Books. The two-sentence summary:
Long Overdue Books is a community for creating books. It's a place for authors, readers, editors, artists, and designers to come together and move their stories from rough drafts to published books.
Next newsletter - quick turnaround time, trying to publish before mid-October. In the meantime, if you have any questions, ideas, stories to tell, you can reach Cal the Librarian at - email@example.com