Receiving a birthday present is always special, especially when it has sentimental value. But in our opinion, no birthday present will EVER be able to top this one that Lauren Blank received from her grandfather.
Lauren had just turned 16 years old, and had just gotten a present from her grandfather, Ron Petrillo, who is 72 years old. It was wrapped, all nice and pretty, but as soon as she tore it open and saw what was inside, tears welled up in her eyes.
Her grandfather had given her a gift that was years in the making, and the most special gift anyone could ever receive. He had made journals of their day-to-day life together from when she was 2 years old, till she was 5.
“Hi Lauren: I’m just starting this so someday you might read it for fun. It’s going to be a day-to-day record of you and me,” wrote Petrillo in the very first entry, dated February 16th, 2003.
He wanted to give his beloved granddaughter, who sometimes goes by the name Ren, the journals at the perfect time. After much deliberation, he decided now would be the perfect time, while he’s still around, so they can enjoy the memories together.
“I had three dates in mind — I had 16, 21, and then when I was gone. I thought if she was straightened out and being a good person and being nice to people that was important. So I decided to give it to her on her 16th birthday,” said Petrillo.
She hasn’t made it through all of the entries yet, but there is a favorite memory she came across, that is now the one to beat.
“He used to do this ‘See Ya’ game, and he would run into the wall over and over and over and I would die,” said Lauren.
They share so many special memories together, like goes to the rescue zoo everyday, except for Mondays, when they were closed. There, they would look at everything, pet some animals, and he would buy her every trinket in the gift shop.
But all of these memories put together turned into 185 pages worth of memories and laughter. He intentionally stopped them when Lauren turned 5 years old. He wanted to document the time when she was still young enough to stay with him everyday, until it came time for her to start going to school.
“I just want the grandparents that are in their 40s and 50s to know that they can do the same thing. If that’s the only thing that comes out of this then that’s just fine,” said Petrillo.
We think that this is the sweetest thing, and we are so glad that Petrillo was able to do this for Lauren!