Happy Autumn. Happy Thanksgiving.

Leaves are turning color and falling, turkeys are on sale and our thoughts turn to thankfulness. In addition to the most obvious blessings of family, health, life, and friends, I am thankful for my law practice and for my clients. In an elder law practice, we meet people every day who live with incredible challenges, whether it be dementia, a life-long disability, a dysfunctional family, poverty, a sick child or simply age and its attendant difficulties. Hardly anyone goes to see a lawyer when their life is perfect and problem-free. And in our practice, we often cannot fix the underlying problem, but we can try to offer solutions for the consequences. So many of my clients have dementia or have a family member with dementia. They know that nothing will heal them, but they seek guidance for the legal problems that come with a permanent, incurable disease. As sad as it can sometimes be, I marvel at the matter-of-factness and strength that so many of my clients display. They are my heroes.

I am thankful for my parents, who are 88 and 89 years old, still living in their own home and proudly clinging to their independence. I am thankful that my parents made me go to school and do my best, taught me to respect my elders, encouraged my sense of humor and showed me how to root for the good guy. I believe these qualities paved the way for my elder law practice. Now it’s my turn to help my parents as they face the complexities of aging. Thanks to the many families I have encountered in my law practice, I know that it is most important to protect their dignity, insure their autonomy, and be both gentle and firm in providing for their safety.

I am thankful for this law firm, for my partners and for our staff and for the gift of coming to work every day where every one of my co-workers has a smile and a willingness to do anything that they are asked. I cannot recall a day at the office that I have not been grateful for each person that I work with. It is also a rare day that I spend at work and do not laugh and so I am thankful for people who have a sense of humor and a sense of joy.

Happy Autumn.  Happy Thanksgiving.