Update from A Rose, Frozen in Time
Brandon and I wintered over that year and traveled extensively together before returning to our homes in December of 2002. We had to go our separate ways in the Chicago airport. There, in the middle of the terminal, we kissed goodbye. It was a hard moment. We promised to call every day and see each other soon.
But, after such a long, isolated adventure, returning to the “real” world can feel like landing from a distant planet. I hoped we would find each other again in this world, and that we would not lose the rare intimacy that such isolation can reveal. After two weeks of talking on the phone every day, he called and said, “Hey! I found us an old farm house to rent for $50 a month if you want to move here with me.”
The idea of moving to North Dakota didn’t thrill me. But if it was to be with him, I would take my chances. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous. We had lived as roommates for our last six months on the ice, and traveled together for three months after. But this would be different. Would we as a couple be able to handle the new-found freedom?
We spent eight months together in the little farm house, there by the Sheyenne River, and we thrived!
We did two more summers on the ice. This time I worked as a shuttle bus driver. I missed the firehouse, but the freedom of not being confined to a single room for twelve hours a day was wonderful! And the scenery…breathtaking!
In the spring of 2005, after our final trip to Antarctica, we moved to Minnesota. Life was breathed into my dream that fateful day in 2001, when he gave me the metal red rose. Brandon asked me to marry him in March of 2006, and we were married that August. I still like to give him a hard time about how long it took. He always counters with what he said to Jill after leaving the dining hall the first night we met. He told her, “She needs me, she just doesn’t know it yet.”
I love to compare stories of our first months together. Remember that night that I kissed him outside my door and he asked if he could try again? I thought he said that because he wanted more than just a peck on the lips. But it turns out he said it because he felt like he missed my lips a little and didn’t want to end the night with a bad kiss. Funny how we can each see the same thing so differently. And how we can put our own fears in place of the truth.
I have recently noticed that roses seem to show up at pivotal times in my life. To be honest, I have never been especially fond of roses. They are pretty, but they have never been my favorite, or even my second favorite flower. I didn’t even have them in my wedding bouquet. But they do hold a special place in my heart.
The first rose in my life was my grandmother Rosalie, and she loved her rose bushes. After that it gets a little different.
One night, in late summer 1994, I was sitting in my car, in my parent’s driveway, having serious doubts about going to Antarctica. I was 19. I wanted to stay and hang with my friends like most 19-year-old’s do. As I was sitting there listening to the radio with thoughts of quitting swimming in my head, the song, The Rose, by Conway Twitty came on. I’m not sure why it caught my attention, but I sat and really listened to the words. Right then and there I decided I had to take the chance.
The next rose brought to life what started out as a funny little joke, turned hopeful, unlikely dream. The dream of marrying the first man to give me a red rose.
One of the best rose’s came along in April of 2014. Brandon and I welcomed a daughter. Her middle name is Rose. (She is our second child, and has a very loving big brother.)
The most recent rose entered my life the summer of 2017. I was walking a patch of woods we own behind our house. Something I have done often over the last eleven years. As I walked along, a gleaming golden light, shining brightly on the ground in front of me, caught my eye. I knelt down and picked it up. It was a small metal tag with the words, “New Day” stamped onto it. I tilted the thin metal back and forth in my hand and tried to read the faint words printed on both sides. I could make out “Hybrid Tea Rose”, and the name of the flower company.
I stood there a little struck at the find. I have walked this exact section of woods several times, and never had I seen it before. I was also in the midst of making some big life changes and going through an intense and wonderful personal development program. The last few years had taken a mental tole, and things in my life were starting to feel new and filled with hope again.
I began to connect the dots. This wonderful journey that I have been on has set me on a path to find the most important rose. It has brought me close to Jesus again. To really know Him. To see Him for who He is and for what He wants to do in my life. He is the true Hope. He is the true Joy. He is the one to make all things new again. He is the perfect Love who Rose to save us all.
Thank you for peering into this piece of my heart. You can find my latest projects on my blog, www.learning2letgo.com. And on my author page, www.MichelleTweed.com.
Michelle Tweed enjoys writing children’s adventure books, historical fiction and non-fiction, and personal development. She is also currently working on a book about her own adventures.
Michelle lives in beautiful Minnesota Lakes Country, with her husband, two kids, and two Australian Shepherds. When she’s not having fun with her family, or working her Lake Home business, you can probably find her walking a plowed field collecting stone artifacts, or mentoring women through her blog, www.learning2letgo.com.