Thursday, June 22, 2017

Birthday Reflection

Barbara Armstrong, Paralegal
I am celebrating my birthday this wonderful month of June.  When my mother was alive, she would always make me an angel food cake with Jiffy frosting and strawberries and bring me fresh gladiolas from her garden.  It didn’t matter how old my siblings and I got- “Mama” would make our day special.

I know that as we get older, I hear a lot of my friends say that they no longer celebrate their birthday or simply choose to ignore it.  I, on the other hand, embrace it!  If anything, it reminds me of how lucky I am to be here.  I have my health.  I have a great job.  I have a wonderful home.  I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who, for reasons only known to him, adores me.  I have three wonderful children, an awesome daughter-in-law, and three beautiful granddaughters.   

I am lucky to be working for a woman who has not only taught me and mentored me along the way over the last nine years, but who I also call a dear friend.  My co-workers are exceptional!  I could not ask for better people to work with.  We all respect each other, are there for each other when needed, laugh and cry together, and we genuinely love each other. 

Over the years, I have established friendships along the way, and although we may not be in touch as often as we would like, we know that if anyone needed us, we are only a call away.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our beagle.  During the days that we can, we love sitting out on the deck enjoying nature and each other’s company.  Although we grow older, we never stop dreaming.   

So, for those who don’t celebrate birthdays anymore, I implore you to revisit that choice and enjoy that birthday.  Life is good. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

World Elder Abuse Day

Helena S. Mock, Esq. 
Did you know that there is a whole day dedicated to the issue of Elder Abuse?  I find this an extremely sad state of affairs that we, not just Americans, but all members of the world’s population feel the need to address issues of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of the elderly, which is a problem that is expanding exponentially within all societies.  It is estimated that each year over 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is June 15th.  WEAAD was launched in 2016 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations with a purpose of providing an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of the potential for abuse and neglect of older persons and to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Last year, I had the privilege of being part of a workgroup established by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) pursuant to House Bill 676.  DARS was delegated the responsibility of evaluating the problems of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation within the Commonwealth and making recommendations to facilitate improvements.  Their report is published,aging, and is interesting, albeit sad, reading.  Upon review of state Adult Protective Services (APS) data compiled during fiscal year 2015, the records revealed Virginia victims lost an estimated $28,226,512 in that fiscal year alone.

As part of its mission, WEAAD provides information on recognizing and preventing abuse as well as protecting yourself from abuse.  Additional information can be obtained by visiting the University of Southern California’s Center on Elder Mistreatment at  Make a commitment to take some action this June 15th to help yourself or someone else, or even to just get more educated.  Every small step gets us closer to making the future brighter for all seniors.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Live What You Love

Jodi B., Paralegal 

Life. Sometimes it’s so sweet and I wish I could bottle up the sweetness and savor it forever. Moments like the little voice from the backseat saying “I love you” unexpectedly and watching the dark eyelashes of the slumbering angel take peaceful breaths. And sometimes life is just plain sour and I’m glad time will ease the bitter sting.  But most of the time, my life seems to exist between the sweet and sour moments and it is lived in the everyday hassle and hurry.  It’s so easy to live and forget to love.  Easier to tie the shoe than to teach to tie.  Easier to say no than to think perhaps yes.  Easier to live than to love.  Easier still to forget to dream.

Working in estate and trust administration, the end of life is on my desk every day as I help others wrap up their late loved ones affairs.  But as I help them navigate unfamiliar waters, it feels good to help. And often times, my work helps remind me to not just live, but to live what I love.