I didn’t know Vincent Frey.
But I did meet his heart once.
Like so many Facebookers, Vincent was one of my 764 “friends,” many of whom I never met but at one point found things in common and carried on a facsimile friendship through cyberspace.
Until one day last summer.
My roommate’s mother was sick with cancer and the doctors gave her only a couple days to live. Frantically, we searched for ways of affording the next flight out for him to spend those last days with the woman who brought him into this world and whom he loved so much.
Far from being a beggar, but wanting to be the best friend I could at that dark time, I posted a small request to purchase any flight vouchers or coupons someone had but wasn’t going to use. We were desperate. Time was wasting and he needed to get there before she died.
Enter Vincent Frey.
We had “liked” each others’ posts from time to time and laughed at some of the same things over the years. And though we never met in person, we got along online and became acquainted on many occasions.
Vincent replied to my post and said he had a voucher on the airline that flew into Ft. Lauderdale where my roommate needed to be the next day. Ecstatic at the news, I asked him how much it was and how quickly I could get it.
We spoke on the phone about it only once and during that conversation I cried. He showed such empathy for my roommate’s predicament and without pause, said he would email me the voucher information immediately and for us to make the reservation and get my roommate out there before it was too late.
This was the heart of a man I never met, never really knew and spoke to only once, but whose heart and compassion sent my roommate off the next day to spend the last two at the side of his dying mother.
He didn’t want money.
He wanted to know that we could make it happen with his help.
I reflect on this from time to time since her death and having since shared my many thanks with Vincent for his generous spirit that summer night, reflect on it one last time as I hear of his passing.
He now has redeemed his own ticket home and we all are quite sad, but I, for one, look forward to meeting him in person some day and saying thank you, thank you once again.