And Yet We Rise

Any Yet We Rise

A Tale of Coping, Overcoming, and Transcending

This is the book I needed so long ago. I wrote it because I couldn’t find anything of its kind– as one reader noted: “this book takes a difficult subject and translates it into an easy to understand format: a beautiful story with simple, compelling drawings. This is NOT a Hallmark Special. If you’re looking for fuzzy inspiration, this is not your book. This is the book that challenges you to think differently, but also envelopes you in a story of love and compassion.”

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Meditative, humorous, and raw, And Yet We Rise, dares to dive into the hidden world of parenting a medically fragile child with significant, multiple disabilities. This graphic novel explores the beauty and heartbreak with frankness and humanity.

If you live long enough, a loved one – or even you- will become disabled, but honest information is rare. This book tackles the hard questions:

This book calls to anyone who knows desperation, loneliness, or sorrow. It packs a powerful message: Not everything must be fixed… and, in fact, even significant disability and death are normal and natural– not to be feared or fought, but embraced as integral parts of the human experience.

The drawings are quietly stunning. They guide you through a disorienting landscape of intense complexity with their deceptively simple lines. You feel like you are getting a glimpse, not only into the artist’s private sketch book, but his life.

Reader Review

“David Borden’s graphics drew me into a heartbreaking world. The struggles with his medically-complex daughter were portrayed with honesty and with humor. I felt like I was in the room with David as he tried to comfort a child who could not be comforted. As the mom of a child with a disability, I understood the fear of more complications and hospitalizations. The dark times when it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. No hope. And yet… This book also drew me into the love of a family that never gave up as they grew together. David Borden: Thank you for sharing your family’s journey in such an authentic way!”  –Cindy Kolbe (5 stars)

Soft cover: 5 x 8 in.

Pages: 256

Graphic Novel: Vibrant Black and White

Author: David Borden

Illustrator: David Borden

Publisher: ScribbleFire

ISBN# 978-1-36-625779-6

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The Story behind the Book

My oldest daughter, Savannah, died a few weeks short of her 16th birthday. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, though we knew this day would come eventually. We knew we would not out live her because she had multiple, significant disabilities. At the urging of friends, I had written a memoir about our challenging life. However, the prose did not capture the essence of Savannah. I struggled with writing dialogue with a non-verbal person. I couldn’t express her exuberance, her anger, her infectious laugh, or her sense of humor with the mere description of her smiles and subtle eye movements. English doesn’t have enough words. I felt like a failure. I set the manuscript aside, even though one of the chapters won the grand prize in a writing completion against nation and international submissions in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

David and Savannah Borden playing on an exercise ball

Savannah and her Daddy horsing around...

On the day of her passing, her younger sister, who was eleven at the time, wrote me a touching letter. “Its hard to think that I will never see my sister again. And I know it’s even harder for you…” she began.

A girl reading to another girl in a wheelchair

Ruby reading to Savannah

I Wrote the Book as a Response to her Sister's Letter

I realized that the only way to tell this story was with images, as well as words. It needed raw, unfiltered black ink. The graphic novel that I would set out to write should feel like you were sneaking a peak inside my private sketchbook. I wanted to give Ruby the gift of her family story… and for everyone else, I wanted to lift the veil and let you into this hidden world of disability–not the world of motivational speakers and inspirational stories, but the world of private moments of inner struggle and bitter lessons.

I left my big job as the head of a division at Austin Community College to take a smaller job managing a single project, so I could go part time, and use that time to write and draw the graphic novel. My plan to publish by April 1, 2017, Savannah’s eighteenth birthday. One of the chapters won in a writing completion in the “comics” category.

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Some Reviews

“…but man, this was a refreshing graphic novel. An honest look at life with a medically fragile child. Heartbreaking and beautiful. Well written with superb illustrations. I read this book in one sitting.” –Tony Guyton (4 stars)

"…It carries far more literary power than simply being autobiographical and a personal testimony. It’s an American story. Imperfect heroes navigating their own individual and social pathway and encountering players and institutions that are at worst, contrary to their interests and at best, indifferent. At the same time, finding people whose inner light make it possible to reach the next milestone along their trek. Questioning Life’s justice but finding within themselves and each other the means to write Life’s verdict on their own terms. The American experience repeats countlessly, how people like David and his family bear what for many of us seems unbearable and find that too-often hidden well-spring of human dignity, strength and renewal by the simple love-fueled act of getting up everyday, and doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done.” –David Joost (5 stars)

More Reader Reviews:

“This story is universal. Not just about disability, but about care-giving when someone you love is not going to get better, such as a dying parent.” –Kathy Dowdy

“This book is the perfect insight that not all special needs children are the same… You give your audience the ‘real deal’ when it comes to life and everyday issues.” –Zac

“What a powerful, moving story. Thank you for this loving gift.” –Linda Welsh

“The author shares his journey through an authentic, raw depiction of his life as a devoted father, husband, and caregiver.” –Angie Mills

“I became completely engrossed with each sitting… I found myself thinking about Savannah’s story during the days, and even though it was painful to read, I looked forward to it every night. Thank you for being brave enough to share Savannah’s story.” –Kim Goss

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