SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - "She Doesn't Look Dead Enough"

(05/06/2022)
By Bob Weaver

In my old age I have confirmed to myself that I am the blessed man.

One of those blessings was to have a large extended family of uncles and aunts from the age of the last farmers, not to be overshadowed by my parents, who extended their unconditional love to me during some trying times.

One of the people in my life was my dad's sister, Gladys Weaver Stump Gainer of Grantsville, a woman who held her head high, a real lady who spent much of her life encouraging her family and neighbors to survive their darkest days with the help of a Higher Power, saying "This too shall pass," and believing the best could rise from the least of us.

A few Calhoun folks will remember her working at her husband, Albert Stump's, a service station on High Street in Grantsville and as the owner of a refined woman's clothing store, the Quality Shop, the building now housing the Calhoun Historical Society Museum.

She wore out the pew at the First Baptist Church praying for everyone, including for me over 40 years ago when I was crashing and burning from the disease of alcoholism.

Before she passed over 30 years ago, she gave me a lot of her books. She had a habit of writing things in her books, a few comments about that day in her life, stories or remembrances, sometimes just a few sentences or paragraph.

Being a collector of books, as the years have gone by, I have often picked up one from Glady's collection, to be entertained or inspired.

Long after her death, I read a small inscription from a old cookbook, meant for me.

"Dear Robert, Every human in this life has a little cloud that floats around their heads. I pray to God that your little cloud will have some good things about you. When the good Lord and people think of you, they will think about what's in your cloud. I really believe that your life was meant to do good and help people, good stuff for your cloud. (signed) Aunt Gladys."

In another book she wrote: "When things in Grantsville get really slow, we all go over to the funeral home to see who's dead."

A few days ago I donated a bunch of old hymnals that span the 20th Century, thinking of a person that would really appreciate them. Later I visited that person who advised me there could be one hymnal I might like returned.

I read the inscription in the old hymnal to find yet another of Gladys' writings.

"Complaint at Stump Funeral Home: A daughter came to see her mother's body, the funeral director saying to her she really looked beautiful for an aged lady, the daughter responded, saying "She doesn't look dead enough."