Grandpa of the Year.
A Texas teenager’s 16th birthday will be the one she’ll never forget, mostly because of her loving grandpa. Last week, Lauren Blank celebrated turning 16, and she received a present from her grandfather, Ron Petrillo, that she will hold dear for the rest of her life.
The two of them share a strong bond and according to Blank, her grandpa has helped raise her from a young age. She says: “He has been there for me and has been one of the most influential people in my life.”
On Wednesday, the 72-year-old surprised his beloved granddaughter with three notebooks of their day-to-day life together from the time she was 2 years old to 5 years old. Petrillo’s first entry – titled “Papa’s Story” – was made on February 16, 2003. He wrote: “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.”
The Keller, Texas-based teen was shocked when her grandpa handed over the books containing many anecdotes from her childhood. She explains: “I was completely in shock and couldn’t even cry at first. Then I saw my whole family was crying and I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime gift.”
Blank was so touched by Petrillo’s beautiful gesture, she decided to share it with her Twitter followers. Her post went viral, and it currently has more than 162,000 retweets and over 603,000 likes. The teen concludes: “I’ve had so much feedback from other kids my age who say they want to get closer to their grandparents. Or, it’s been a real eye-opener for them to appreciate their grandparents while they are still here. I truly don’t think that I will ever have a gift that is greater than this.”