Guests

Each of our Guests is special and unique – though we’ve found common threads in their final days. They often ask: What did my life represent? Did I say everything I wanted to say? Did I love well? Was I loved?

Our contemplative approach to care comes into play as Guests ponder those questions. We have honed a sixth sense about nuanced changes, needs, when to engage, when to pull back and when to simply be present – because sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is simply be. ABODE is a place where Guests can find peace before they die. And we honor and celebrate them every step of the way.

Ronald

Ronald

We called him The Candy Man. An Army Veteran under the care of Trinity Hospice, Ronnie joined us in our Peach Room in December, and he brought along a festive supply of cookies, candies and Moon Pies.
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Robert

Robert

Robert joined us in our Peach Room in November – we were deeply honored to care for him. Robert was a Church of Reconciliation minister many years ago when our Founders Edwin and Patsy Sasek began attracting support for their vision for ABODE. He was a wonderful supporter from the beginning.
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Shirley

Shirley

Shirley was our Guest in our Peach Room in November, under the care of Compassus Hospice. Her son John and his wife Mary Ann were always by her side. They decorated her room with photos and quilts she’d made – including the one on her bed.
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David

David

Every now and again, the loved one of an ABODE Guest will refer another sweet soul to us. Such was the case with David, who joined us in our Green Room in December under the care of VITAS Hospice. We’d taken care of Brian’s wife a few years back, so when his friend David got sick, Brian suggested that he come to ABODE, too.
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Jesus

Jesus

In a sweet coincidence, Jesus came to us during the Christmas holidays. He was an Air Force Vet – so that called for a special visit from Retired Air Force Colonel Hal Smarkola. Hal delivered a final salute, as he does for all of our Veterans, and presented Jesus and his family with a small flag that he folded himself.
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Guiman

Guiman

Every now and then, a Guest will come to ABODE and, because of the peacefulness and our contemplative care, they get better! Such was the case with Guiman. She joined us in our Blue Room in November and returned home with her husband and son in December.
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Philip

Philip

Philip joined us in December as our 400th Guest! That’s our volunteer Sharon Bennett welcoming Philip to our Green Room in December, reassuring him that he was in a safe, beautiful home surrounded by the sweetest caregivers.
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Ramiro

Ramiro

Ramiro – or Ram, as he was called – was our Guest in our Green Room, under the care of Abundant Hospice. He joined us in January.
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Deborah

Deborah

Deborah joined us in our Blue Room in January. Originally from New York, Deborah was an active mom, joyfully serving in parent-teacher organizations at her daughters’ schools, often in leadership roles. And she loved organizing creative arts and crafts projects for her girls and their friends. That’s Deborah’s daughter Lindsay with her, upon arrival at ABODE.
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Felix

Felix

Each time we welcome a Vet to ABODE, we send a text to Retired Air Force Colonel Hal Smarkola and he heads right over. In January, Hal shared his sweet message, a small folded American flag and a final salute with Felix, a Vietnam Army Vet, in our Blue Room.
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“If you want to help those most in need to die with love, care and dignity, support ABODE. This is a place where God dwells.”

John Calhoun Wells

“ABODE is a place of angels. Some of the most beautiful and caring people I know!”

Sheila Korte

“We would walk in and someone was always sitting with her and holding her hand. They wanted her to know she wasn’t alone.”

Norma Rodriguez

“When the time came for my mom to go, they grieved with us. Everything about this place is perfect.”

Victoria Van Winkle

“I so wish you all had more rooms or there were more homes like this in San Antonio.”

Tracie Marie

“At ABODE, I witnessed God’s demonstration of true compassionate patience. The caregivers here are incredible.”

Linda Mitchell

“Thank you for making my family part of your family in our time of sorrow. We are healing as time passes by.”

Erlinda Amador

“ABODE’s backyard is filled with such spiritual features. It’s a true place of stillness and peace.”

Jill Phelps

“ABODE is a safe and welcoming space where love and peace abide, lighting the way for each Guest to make their journey.”

Melanie Sue

“I’ve been doing this work a long time. I’ve learned more about dying from all of you than I learned in all my years of nursing. This is an extraordinary place.”
“I can’t find the words to express how the staff and volunteers took care of my husband. A marvelous experience – I learned more from ABODE than I have anywhere else about compassion and caring.”
“It is like a park here. So beautiful. I love everything here. I love everyone here. Thank you. Thank you for taking care of me.”

Our Veterans

About 5 percent of our Guests are veterans representing all branches of the military. We are grateful to the Jewish War Veterans for their continued support of ABODE and our Veteran Guests.

We’re especially honored when we care for Guests who served in our military. We place a flag representing their military branch outside their room. And Retired Air Force Col. Hal Smarkola makes it his mission to salute every vet who comes to ABODE.