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Angel of Influence

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My grandma was Shirley McCollough. My mom says I walk just like she did, with my shoulders slightly rolled forward. While this means my posture isn’t great, to me, it’s a compliment. I don’t remember a whole lot about my grandma. I remember her hands, the way her complexion always seemed sun-kissed to me, how she called all her grandbabies her angels. But that’s about where my memories stop. Now, I soak in all the stories and all the details about who she was, and I take pride whenever someone tells me I’m like her. My grandma died from leukemia when I was just five years old. She was only 56. So, besides our posture, how are we similar? One of the ways is through crafts and creativity. She was a hairdresser by trade but a Martha Stewart through and through. And if Pinterest had been around when she was alive, buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, she would have been a wild woman.

I’m told there isn’t a recipe she didn’t try: homemade yeast rolls, potato soup, roast beef thinly sliced with gravy and fried peach pies, just to name a few. There also wasn’t a project she didn’t attempt. My mom shows us pictures of when she was young, in the cutest little outfits. Many are church outfits, one in which my mom looks to be about five years old, wearing a little yellow dress with a white band at the waist that had tiny dark flowers on it. Next to her is my Uncle Kenny, who is about three in the picture, wearing a white sport coat, black pants and a red bowtie. The common thread with many of these outfits? My grandma made them. My grandmother’s sister, Gwen, died at 21 from lupus. After she died, my grandma made porcelain angel dolls that wore white dresses. The dresses were made from Gwen’s wedding gown. She gave a doll to each of her siblings.

Grandma Shirley made everything. And when I say everything, I mean, literally, everything. She did it all. I still have a dress-up wedding gown I would play in, equipped with a veil that she made that one day my daughter will do the same in. We have blankets, dolls, bears and so much more that my grandma hand crafted.

Now, I try to carry on her legacy. I try to cook. Sometimes it turns out great, other times, well, let’s just say it won’t kill ya. I’m sure my husband is lying when he says it tastes good just so I don’t burst into tears. While cooking isn’t my forte like my Grandma Shirley’s, crafts are my jam. I could sit for hours and cross-stitch squares for a quilt. I find it to be quite therapeutic (except when you accidentally poke yourself with the needle).

We have boxes upon boxes of family pictures and reels of family videos. Photography is a hobby that was also passed down from my grandma. She loved to document everything, and for that we are grateful. My mom continued this. There isn’t a new haircut or trip to the pumpkin patch that hasn’t been shot at a million different angles. Of course, my sister, brother and I have carried on the tradition, photographing our world travels that, had my grandma been around, she would have loved to take part in. My sister and I now photograph our babies and my brother takes pictures of fast-paced sporting events.

I could go on and on about all the crafts my grandma did, how she made each person in her life feel special and loved. I will forever wish I had had more time with her, more memories to cherish. Now her “angel” grandbabies have grown into adults, some with babies of their own. But we will continue to pass down her legacy and passion for creation. She, now, is our angel.

Written by: KRCG13 News Anchor Meghan Lane

Meghan Lane is the evening anchor at KRCG 13. She is the longest-tenured female on-air talent at the station and has worn many hats at the station including morning anchor and interim news director. She has recently begun a series called Mom to Mom in which she focuses on the stories and challenges motherhood brings. She actively volunteers in the community through Big Brothers Big Sisters and several local nonprofits. Meghan is married to husband, Daryl, and is a new mom to her beautiful baby girl, Evelyn.