“Words cannot express how I felt last night when you all allowed me to meet you before you performed at our Shrimp and Petroleum Festival,” begins an email from Rose Fromenthal to Larry Stewart and the other members of Restless Heart.
In 2002, doctors told Fromenthal she would probably not live much longer without a bone marrow transplant. Besides a wish for at least one grandchild, she wrote, “I always said before I died I would love to see Phil Collins and Restless Heart in person.” She thought the second part of her wish would never come true because the group had disbanded.
Her most important wish, to have a grandchild, came true in July 2004 with the birth of her grandson, Landyn. In September, her second wish came true when her son drove her to Texas to a Phil Collins concert. During the 2004 holidays, she suffered two strokes and a heart attack but her positive attitude helped her defy the odds. Her “minor miracles” continued when Restless Heart not only started touring again but was booked for the 2005 Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in her hometown of Morgan City, Louisiana .
“When Hurricane Katrina hit, I was so afraid you would not be playing on the new date. Then, what was worse was I had a stroke two weeks ago that had me not being able to even talk much without repeating and slurring my words.” But Restless Heart was able to play on the new dates and she was there, on standing up in the front row for the whole show. The members of the band took extra time before the show to meet her and have photographs taken. They were all visibly moved by her bravery and tenacity in battling her quickly weakening body.
“My system is too weak now to survive the bone marrow operation I was against from the beginning anyway. But it is ok. Because this sick woman was made to feel normal last night by you and your group and my heart is filled with thanks.
“Many musicians probably may have their pictures taken posed with audience members but is probably just a pose fast and it is over with just to get it done. But you all made me feel as if you were real friends with real feelings for people and if more musicians and artists were like you, this world would be a better place.”
She closed her email with one last tribute to the group. “I wish the whole world would hear my story and appreciate the kind, loving, sweet human beings you are as well as talented musicians.” (SEE-EN Press Service)