Merlino & Gonzalez - May 2020

May 2020



IN A MANOR OF SPEAKING WE’RE STILL HERE FOR YOU Working Together to Make the Best of Challenging Times

I usually reserve this space for our wonderful colleagues, but in light of current events, it felt necessary to share my own words. I’m sure it’s no surprise that the “current events” I speak of are COVID-19 and its riptide of effects around the globe.

so hard to be. Today, I live in a much bigger house relative to the house I grew up in. It’s more of a struggle to involve myself in my kids’ and wife’s lives simply because of the space we have in our home. But with all the time we spend together in the house now, we’re finding ways to reconnect. We spend a lot of time cooking together every evening, and we say a prayer together at 8 o’clock every night to help everyone with the hardships they’re facing. Being sheltered in place has made me rethink the things that are most important to put effort into. We have the opportunity to turn our big houses into small houses right now. Our constant mandated proximity to one another, even if it’s behind closed doors or on opposite sides of the house, gives us the chance to reconnect with each other. We just have to make the effort. It’s so important during these daunting times to be there for one another. Whether that’s through increased communication with coworkers, video chatting with old friends, or knocking on your son’s or daughter’s door to ask them how their day is going, we have to make the effort. We get through challenging times by coming together. In the wonderful words of Samwise Gamgee from “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” one of my favorite books: “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end … because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

Most businesses are closed and homes are locked down, and it’s likely that New York and New Jersey will be the last states to start opening up again when it’s been deemed safe. But through it all, I want to let our clients know that Merlino & Gonzalez is still here and operating at full capacity. We have our full staff working to serve our clients remotely and have made other changes in an effort to keep things as convenient and safe as possible for everyone. Our team is completely available via email, phone, and video conference. We’re also working with messenger services to have important paperwork delivered as needed. Our goal is to eliminate the need for people to leave their homes while still giving them the ability to get the things they need from us. We’ve been successful by upgrading our communication abilities and the capabilities of each team member’s work-from-home environment,so there hasn’t been a drop in quality of work or a delay in getting things done. I’m so proud of how our team has stepped up to make sure our clients are still receiving the help they need. “Stepping up” has presented itself in many ways lately. This pandemic has its incredibly rough effects, but it’s also doing something interesting. It’s giving people the opportunity to recognize the need to step up like never before. For myself and my family, I’m finding that the phrase “small houses lead to tight families” really suits us best during this time. Growing up, I lived in a small house with a rather large family. There were days when it felt like we were all on top of each other, with no privacy or space to stretch. But in many ways, that made our family’s bonds strong. We were in each other’s lives, and we didn’t have to try

–John R. Merlino Jr., Esq.



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