When All the Balls Drop - The Upside of Losing Everything
by Heidi Siefkas
The true story of a survivor
who through losing everything,
redefined having it all
Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.
She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.
Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir--rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.
Release Me, Now Take Me Back
The studio apartment lacked the every-four-hour interruptions of the hospital, which was good. I needed to be more independent—or as independently dependent as someone could be in my situation. I ate very little, slept little, and was in a lot of pain.
Strangely enough, it was when I left the hospital that the sleepless nights began. Oh how I needed the sleep to heal! However, because of my brace, I couldn’t toss and turn, just quietly count sheep. I also couldn’t use my go-to method of counting the holes in the ceiling tiles because my new ceiling was cheaply painted white without even the oh-so-common popcorn for texture.
Around this time, I began to experience shooting pains in my legs. Despite walking daily to keep the blood flowing, every time I got up out of the car, a chair, or my bed, a sharp pain shot up my legs to my lower back. When I was still, the pain radiated from my toes through my legs up to my lumbar area.
During these shooting spells, I’d flash back to the agony of running the 2004 Boston Marathon. I had completed that grand physical feat but just barely. After mile twenty-three—after Heartbreak Hill and approaching Brookline with Boston’s Back Bay ahead—I felt like I was running on stumps. Each step traveled up through my body, bone by aching bone. But even that excruciating pain paled in comparison to what I was experiencing now. The stifling and severe agony in my legs from running the marathon lasted less than a week, but it had been more than two weeks since my surgery. And did my legs hurt!
How I suffered those first six days out of the hospital and in the studio. All I’d wanted was to get out of the hospital, but as soon as I did, I wanted to go back. The grass is always greener, right?
Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels.
You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com