I have been told so many times over the years to not look back...always keep my focus on the path in front of me. I appreciate the sentiment and for the most part agree with the thought...but I do think it's equally important to sometimes stop and take a look over your shoulder to see how far you have come. It's good to look back and see all of the hills you have climbed...all the battles you have won and lost...all of the moments that you didn't think you would survive. I think it gives you a sense of accomplishment and respect for all that you have endured. It's good to look back and realize that all of those moments have led you to the place where you are currently standing. All of those moments are still with you...they are a part of you...they have made you into the person you are today.
I walked into my kitchen this evening to make myself a tea and enjoy the peaceful silence of my night. I walked past the closet door and glanced up at the calendar hanging on it. There was a tiny strip of paper poking out from beneath the calendar that I instantly recognized. I had forgotten it was still there. I lifted up the edge of the calendar and stood there staring at a sheet of paper I had hung up five years ago. It was a list of Emma's insulin to carb ratios from when she was first diagnosed. I had written them out on a chart and hung it up on the wall for easy access to help me remember how much to dose her for when she ate something. I stood there staring at that sheet of numbers...it was in my handwriting...the edges of the paper curled up over time. This chart was made by the old me...the version of me from five years ago.
I smiled and stood there for a minute looking back on our path...thinking about how much we have been through in the past years with diabetes. I remember being so nervous that I would mess up the calculations for her ratio and give her too much insulin...or too little. I was so nervous that I decided to make this chart. It eased my mind at the time. It was a comfort to have it hanging on the closet door. I remembered standing in that exact spot dialing up countless doses on her insulin pen...thousands of needles...carbs counted...dosages searched for. I stood there countless times...staring at that tiny droplet of insulin perched precariously on the edge of that tiny needle...knowing I was about to jab it into my child's body and give her what her pancreas could no longer do on it's own.
I looked over my shoulder for just a minute tonight and marvelled at the life we have led up to this point. I smiled at our strength...our endurance...our hope. I looked at the path behind me...some spots rutted and uneven...muddy and murky...dangerous cliffs and valleys. I looked back at the path behind me and saw breathtaking views...beautiful triumphs and victories...the suns rays cascading down all around me.
So, yes....I think it's important to keep your eye on the prize...focused on the horizon in front of you. I also think it's important to stop every now and again and be proud of what you have done...be proud of the path that you have already travelled. That path is a great place to draw your strength from when you are about to embark on the unknown trail ahead.