“I met Frances Rose in 2011 at a potluck in Philadelphia, and I was immediately drawn to her sweet, soft voice and gentle touch. Rose is demure and silly, an incomparable chef, a world-traveler, and lover of the earth.
I met her at a particularly trying period in her life and in our first conversation she broke my heart with her tenderness, resilience, and capacity to share her pain. She spoke to me about some present struggles, and was most recently reeling from a fire in Brooklyn, which resulted in the loss of her beloved Grandmother and the home they shared together.
The evening before the fire, Rose, an avid gardener, had made a clipping of her mint plant to give to her neighbor. She had left the clipping on the neighbor’s stoop and it was the only thing that survived the devastation of the following day. Rose planted the clipping and brought it with her when she came to Philadelphia, and it flourished on her desk by the windowsill in her newfound West Philly home.
When Rose found out I, too, was a plant-enthusiast, she made a clipping of the mint plant and passed it along to me. For almost a year now it has sat with me on my desk by my windowsill in my South Philly home.
The mint plant is full of love and hope, an image of struggle and survival, of sadness and triumph despite the ugliness around us. It represents Rose for me. And every time I look at it, I think of her and smile.” -E.S.S, May 2013