“Let's give it a shot.”
Profile by Virginia Wright-Peterson
Photo by Vicki De Boer
Twice, someone asked Anthony to sing at Season Hospice’s Memories of the Heart celebration. “They kept inviting me back, so I thought ‘Let’s give it a shot,’ and I’ve been here ever since.”
It so happened Anthony was looking and praying. Seasons Hospice seemed to be his destiny even though he says, “I didn’t really know anything about hospice. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do or say. I prayed for guidance.”
Anthony now volunteers regularly at Seasons and is sometimes invited to share his gift of music. “What a Wonderful World,” “Amazing Grace,” and “It is Well with My Soul” are among his favorite pieces to sing for patients and their families. “The stories I’ve heard while sharing song, bless me.”
Originally from East Moline, Illinois, Anthony’s grandfather, aunts, and uncles sang, and he can’t remember a time when he did not "sing" in a church choir. He has never had a vocal lesson.
Anthony is a knowledge management analyst at Mayo Clinic, and he is sometimes also seen and heard singing in the Gonda Building subway lobby.
His advice for people new to volunteering at Season’s is to be open, try a lot of different things. Being present, without a preconceived notion or distractions. Both patient and volunteer can receive.
He acknowledges that volunteering at a hospice isn’t for everyone. But for him, “God has gifted me to do it, given me the grace to be here and enjoy it.”
And if visiting patients isn’t enough, Anthony can be found in the kitchen at Season’s Hospice House. Breakfast is his favorite meal to prepare, but he’ll do whatever is needed.
Anthony is impressed with the staff and volunteers and how they work together, as he puts it, “The spirit of the place moves me.”