June 28, 2022 (29?) – a return to my 3 things.

I tell people all the time that starting my daily list of 3 things changed my mindset and ultimately the course of my life. Gratitude has amazing power.

I liked posting them online bc it somehow helped me to be accountable. These last weeks I have gotten away from posting them because I published my own gratitude journal on Amazon and now write in that every day. But I enjoyed the positive feedback from others when they would express their own reflections on gratitude.

So today I am on a bus in London, riding to Portsmouth to take a ferry to Normandy. I am grateful for this travel opportunity; I am grateful for my freedom; I am grateful for all of the armed forces, past and present- for their families, for their sacrifices, for their courage and patriotism.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and can make your own daily list of gratitude. It might just change your perspective – or even your life.

A poppy in Portsmouth, England.

So, I wrote the text above the image on the morning of the 28th. Now it is 12:23am on the 29th and I feel the need to add more. As I attempted to board the ferry I took my second fall of this trip. My knee just buckled and I collapsed. I felt kind of badly for the little guy trying to pick me up, bless his heart. So, I’m on day 3 of a 14 day tour and I’ve fallen twice in two days due to my left knee – and oh did I mention – I have a boot on the right foot due to a stress fracture.

This is me in Portsmouth before the Ferry to Normandy. After my first fall in London I bought a knee brace thinking that would solve the problem. Wrong.

So, in these wee hours (and for most of the ferry ride) I am feeling a roller coaster of emotions. Gratitude and perspective, my go to saviors, seem to be battling embarrassment, pain, disappointment, and a big one for me – being able to accept help from others. I have hurt several other parts of my body by falling twice and trying to walk has me all out of wack.

I am facing some really strong demons alone in this hotel in Normandy. God seems to think I’m ready. I trust Him. You see for more than 20 years I’ve been made to feel ashamed when I need help. That’s a tough one. Enter humility.

I was utterly embarrassed being wheeled off that ferry in a wheel chair. Humiliation hit even harder when I was so afraid I would fall again, rather than step up on the bus I turned and burst into tears. I was ashamed to accept the help. And afraid no one would really catch me if I tried and failed. I did step on the bus and several people helped me. I am surrounded by so many kind and generous genuine people who want to help me. I need to let go and let them. Why is that so hard? Trust.

Well, this moment I am grateful that I am alive and thriving in a world where kindness and love abound, truly; I am grateful that many of these folks who were complete strangers a few days ago are stepping up to help me as if we’ve been through the trenches together; most of all I am grateful for my little group that I’m leading on this tour. (I use that term loosely at the moment). But their support, positivity, bright outlook, genuine loving care for me tells me I have value. I know – I should already know that – but to see it in their kind faces and feel it in their arms as they literally hold me up and to hear it in their voices as they try to soothe me or cheer me up – what a ginormous gift. I am so grateful for the people around me right now. …in France.

So – Fields of Poppies originated on one these tours and now is at the forefront. God bless all that read this and I hope you can hug someone today for me! Tell them their worth – and don’t let go of the embrace until they do – that’s how you know their love bucket is full.

Author: Jennifer Bertram

I teach. I travel. I read. I love. I live. I learn.

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