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Looking back at July: What overwhelmed you?
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It isn’t August yet and several people have said to me, “Hasn’t the summer gone quickly?” Yes, it has. The fact that school starts in early August makes us feel that autumn is upon us.


With the end of July staring at me, I realize that I haven’t written a column in July. Looking back, I also realize that in addition to being surfeited (as I earlier described), I am also overwhelmed. There is not only a difference in the meaning, but much of the overwhelming concerns others more than just myself.


For instance, the small percentage of voter turnout on primary date and in early voting is disappointingly overwhelming. Why do so many choose not to choose?


At least, the winners won decisively; that represents a clear choice. I do congratulate them all, both those who will be taking (or keeping) office and those who offered their service. We are indeed fortunate that any of them would most likely have done a good job.


During the week of Lumpkin Camp meeting, the pervasive spirit (and Spirit) and attendance, especially at the night services, was outstanding. Although not a “tentholder,” I went to at least one service (there are three) each day and can attest to the fact that those who spent the entire week are certainly overwhelmed with food, fellowship and especially renewed faith. No doubt those in church revivals over the county feel that sense of renewal.


On a somber note, however, it was the regular meeting of the Region II MHDDD Planning Board (at which I presently represent Dawson County) that the word “overwhelming” kept blasting into my consciousness.


Each year as we work on survey forms and read reports, we recognize the needs of those with mental health, development disabilities and addictive disease problems are so much greater than the facilities available to meet those needs and the needs of their caregivers.


There is never enough money, enough oversight, enough communication — regardless of recommendations and plans. And it seems to get worse rather than better. It’s like trying to conquer kudzu; we keep chopping away at it and it continues to grow and spread. Nevertheless, we must persevere.


And with each victory, with each discovery of a family who has found ways to cope with extremely difficult situations, there is gratitude that hopelessness can be overcome.


That statement can also apply to families with problems other than MHDDAD ones — and I know many of those. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be overwhelmed with hope?


Let me end on a personal note: I was almost overwhelmed with good birthday wishes this month, and I truly appreciate every one of them - just as I appreciate those people who generously tell me that you regularly read my column.


Maybe I’ll be more deserving in my 85th year.


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.