Mary is a longtime community builder and connector who has spent more than 20 years working with and advising entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits. Mary produced our Summer 2019 Omega Home Network National Conference here in San Antonio. She became so drawn to ABODE that when the ED position opened, she jumped at the chance to contribute her skills, talents and passion to our organization. “Our staff and volunteers have the most beautiful ability to make our Guests feel welcomed, valued and celebrated,” Mary says. “What a wonderful way to touch people’s lives at the very end of their lives – it’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Marynelda comes to ABODE with decades of experience in the hospice field – and cared for many Guests at ABODE before joining our team. Her sweet spirit and special touch fill every inch our beautiful home. Marynelda lost her son just days before joining our team. “God led me to ABODE so that I could find comfort,” she says. “It brings me joy to be able to work with our Guests. I feel it. And I see it.”
Claudia shares her calm, gentle and contemplative approach to care during our overnight shifts – typically the time most Guests pass away. She’s there to hold their hand and offer words of love and compassion and she walks them home. Claudia has been caring for people at end of life since she was 14 years old. “I was born to do this – I know I was,” Claudia says. “My experience all came together when my husband got sick last year. I knew what to do, and I was able to give him the love and care he needed most in his final days.”
Natalie is our Bedside Yoga instructor and recently joined us as an End-of-Life Navigator. She says she immediately fell in love with ABODE as soon as she walked through the door. “I had the privilege to be with my mom during her final moments,” Natalie says. “ABODE has allowed me to continue to show that same love and service to our Guests. I’m grateful for the opportunity to become very comfortable with death and the dying process.”
Crystal’s brother Joe was a recent Guest here at ABODE, and when we saw the love and compassion that she shared with him during her regular visits, we knew she would be a perfect match for our team. Crystal also cared for her mother in her last phase of life. Crystal is an avid athlete, noting that physical exercise keeps her grounded and stronger emotionally. “I love ABODE,” she says. “It’s a great place to learn about death…and life.”
John has been with ABODE since the beginning. His love and attentive care for our Guests is a living example of our mission, vision and values. Some of John’s empathy for hospice patients and their families comes from his personal experience of caring for his first wife who died over 20 years ago from cancer, leaving John a grieving widower with their children – the youngest a six-month-old infant. John has dedicated more than 35 years of his life serving others globally through mission and non-profit work. His experience with caring for people in medically fragile situations as well as at the end of their lives since the mid-1980s has helped to shape him into a valuable asset to our team at ABODE.