Fighting the good fight

Sherry Farrell

Just yesterday in the office this phrase came to mind: Fighting the good fight. Of course, I had to look up the definition and simply put it means, “Working tirelessly to try and make good choices and help others. This person wants to improve the world around them.”

It’s one of those phrases that make us look inward and ask ourselves if that’s what we are doing, our very best each and every day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out many unsung heroes that are doing just that, fighting the good fight for all of us. Especially our first responders and those who are on the frontlines giving COVID tests and now distributing the first COVID vaccinations. God bless them for taking care of us.

Mackensie went to get her COVID vaccination last week. Before she left, she said to me that she had heard that those wonderful medical assistants, nurses, doctors, first responders are hearing fewer and fewer "thank yous" from many of us. I guess that’s human nature in some ways, after a while we start to take things for granted. She said she was going to make sure to show her appreciation for all of them and for what they are doing.

Just this morning Jennifer Ganem sent me a message to tell me how much she enjoyed our story last week about our personal bubbles and appreciating things more. Jenn is another one of those people fighting the good fight, often behind the scenes putting many hours in trying to make our local bubble a better place. She also gave me a great idea and stopped me in my tracks a little, too.

Jenn said she had decided to leave their Christmas cards up until she could see each of those family and friends in person safely again. Oddly enough I had just decided to take ours down that very morning, just to neaten things up a little and maybe try to move on. When I read Jenn’s words John and I decided we are taking her lead. Our cards are staying up for a while longer.

I shared with her what Mackensie had said about a recent feeling of underappreciation of those on the frontlines and Jenn agreed. She also went on to say that these angels, and their emotional struggles, need to be recognized. So very sad those helping us are suffering in ways we can’t even imagine.

Time for us to start sending those cards, dropping by with chocolates, maybe make a sign (little ones' signs take our breath away) or just say the words "thank you" so much more. Let’s leave our Christmas lights outdoors up a little longer, too. A symbol of thanks and good cheer! Most importantly, it’s a sign of support and thanks for our health care unsung heroes.

Right at the end of the day on Friday, we experienced, what I would call, an invasion by a group who I think somehow believe that they are fighting the good fight too, but they are not. In the name of, sadly I’m still not sure what, they stormed into our calm, peaceful, welcoming Town Hall and deliberately unnerved and upset many good people and local residents.

Picture this, it’s a quiet Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Many good people working but looking forward to the start of their weekend and getting home to family, and then it all changed. Next thing we knew, two men, one with a mask and one without, came rushing into our offices with bags and cameras on poles. Even with residents trying to conduct business they were loud and, in our office, interrupting the clerks, asking their names, what they do and videotaping them without their permission.

Their No. 1 goal is to take good people who are “fighting the good fight” and scare them, intimidate them and belittle them. Can you imagine, as they told us, “They can, because it’s a public place,” and they even videotaped as employees were walking out of restrooms. They videotaped them walking out the door and down the hall. I guess if they can do what they did publicly, it’s the least I can do too to call them out for this shameful behavior.

I wonder if they knew as they pranced around our lovely Town Hall that people were fearful of what else was in those bags and what else did they plan to videotape! The irony of it all is that, since they were asking names, I asked one of the men his name, too. He actually said as he lowered his head “He’d rather not tell me.” Dear goodness, really?

Instead of calmly coming in and asking questions in a kind, non-threatening way, they are counting on the shock factor so that they can get footage of frightened, embarrassed people taken off guard in a place they normally feel safe. How do people like this go home to their families? What makes other people donate money and applaud this behavior?

They verbally went after our Police Department, too. Do these people have any clue about what’s happening in the world? Maybe they should take a few minutes to research and read what our first responders and town halls have been up against the last year.

Next time, and I’m sure there will be one, I think I will record them on my cellphone. They are praying for an overreaction from someone because that makes for a great film, too. They want someone to panic and scream for them to leave. Because of “Grace Under Pressure," we all thought it in our heads but we didn’t give them the satisfaction of saying it out loud.

Definitely, they would have learned a lot more about the good that goes on every day in these “public places” if you know the expression … using a little sugar.

We have to end our story this week on a sweet note.

Bittersweet Bake Shoppe in Litchfield right at 272 Derry Road (I thought it was Hudson) just opened in December. Oh my goodness, Lynn the owner has brought us a true, blue, lovely, inviting bakery of homemade treasures. We had a delicious blueberry muffin, and a fresh cup of coffee. Cakes, pies, and homemade bread that we can’t wait to try. A new treat too, cocoa bombs! We tried the bread last night… onions, basil, fresh herbs throughout. Truly the best specialty bread I have ever had!

Please remember our small local businesses are fighting the good fight for us. They need us and we need them.

Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.

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