This Man Worked On His Granddaughter’s Gift For More Than 10 Years And Her Reaction Was Unexpected
Lauren Black grew up in a loving family in Texas and was about to turn 16 years old. The young lady was very excited about her big day and couldn’t wait to celebrate it with her family and close friends. Big planned birthday parties weren’t her thing, so Lauren decided to arrange something more low-key for her birthday instead.
Lauren, or Ren, decided to have a small celebration with her family and close friends. She wanted to spend this day with people who mattered the most to her instead of inviting half of her high school, as a lot of girls her age preferred to do. However, Ren wasn’t expecting to discover an exceptional surprise made by her grandfather on her Sweet sixteenth birthday.
Small Town Girl
Ren was born in a small town in the area of Keller, Texas, the population of which was only around 45,000 residents located in the metroplex of Dallas-Fort Worth. Lauren’s city even advertises itself as it “successfully balances big-city comforts with small-town charm.”
If you ever visited Keller, you would see for yourself that this statement is indeed true. Lauren was born and raised in Keller, by the time she was sixteen, Ren turned into a well-educated mature girl. Her parents were very proud of her and wanted to plan something exceptional for her sweet sixteen birthday. Ren had no idea what was waiting for her around the corner.
10 Years Of Work
Ren’s grandfather had been working on her birthday present for over a decade, and she had absolutely no idea at the time. He was fantastic at keeping it a secret, not even the girl’s parents realized what he had been up to the entire time. He was planning something astonishing for his grandaughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party.
Ren was about to receive the most adorable and breathtaking birthday gift ever! Moreover, this present would touch the hearts of everyone at the party. And, no, it wasn’t something extravagant or luxury, but not a typical gift you would expect to receive on your 16th birthday.
An Unusual Gift
A lot of teenage girls are dreaming of receiving expensive gifts for their Sweet sixteenth, such as a new laptop or perhaps even a car. What Ren was about to get from her grandfather was far from any of that; it was something that was going to leave her extremely emotional and somewhat speechless.
Most girls Ren’s age receive valuable heirlooms from their grandparents on their birthday which are passed down from one generation to another. However, what Lauren’s grandfather had prepared for her was not the usual heirloom or pretty jewelry. It was something completely different and unique.
A Special Bond
This gift would change the way Ren saw her grandfather once and for all. Let’s go back in the past to understand this precious bond between these two better. The close relationship between Ren and her grandfather began when she was still a baby.
Unlike many other parents who decide to send their children to daycare, Ren’s parents wanted her to spend time with her family instead. When she was 2-5 years old, Ren was often hanging out with her grandfather who loved her very much. This time was exactly when he first thought of the secret Sweet sixteen gift idea for his granddaughter.
Ron Petrillo, Lauren’s grandfather, wanted to make every minute spent with her special. During the three years when they were hanging out together, Ron secretly started working on Ren’s future Sweet sixteenth birthday present. He managed to come up with a fantastic idea to keep all of their shared memories together in the cutest way possible.
Since Lauren was way too young to remember her time spent with Ron, he wanted to give her something incredible which would remind her of all the precious moments they shared. After some time, Ron told Ren’s parents about his gift idea, but he never realized what kind of an impact this present would be on his beloved granddaughter until he finally gave it to her.
Beautiful Memories Together
As time was passing by, Ren’s grandfather quickly grew closer to his precious granddaughter. These two had developed a special bond that meant the world to Ron, and he didn’t want the memories they had shared to slip away. Ren was the most important person in Ron’s life, and he loved her more than anything else.
Kids grow up too fast, and Ron knew that in a matter of time his granddaughter would be a grown young woman with her own life and family. Those precious moments they had created together would soon become a memory. So he found a way to ensure Ren would remember all of the fun times she had with her grandfather when she was a child. Ron was working on something exceptional that would soon touch the hearts of everyone in the family. But when would be the right moment for Ren to receive this gift?
Finding The Perfect Timing
Ron spent a lot of time thinking about when would be the right moment for him to surprise Lauren which his unique present. He had a few dates in mind, perhaps the right time would be after he had passed away or while he was still alive and Ren was either 16 or 21 years old.
Back then, Lauren had no idea that each day she was spending time with Ron; he was also secretly working on his precious gift for her. Ron was hoping for her to love the present but wasn’t aware of just how much it would impact and change her life forever. Ron was always near his granddaughter, but it didn’t prevent him from working on his project. He came to a conclusion he was going to wait until Lauren could prove something significant for him and only after he would grant her with his heart-touching gift.
“I thought if she was straightened out and being a good person and being nice to people that was important,” Ron shared his thoughts of Ren. He was carefully observing his granddaughter as she was growing up and showing her personality traits. Eventually, Ron made his mind regarding the best timing for him to give his present to Lauren.
He decided to give Ren his gift while he was still alive. He wished to share this precious moment while he was still alive rather than her discovering it when he had already passed away.
Ron wanted his granddaughter to receive this gift while he was still alive as he imagined it would mean way more for the two of them if Ren saw it while he was next to her. In his opinion, Lauren would feel more heartbroken than touched if she saw it when Ron was already gone from this world and this is not the way he wanted his granddaughter to feel.
The point of this special gift which Ron had been working on for over a decade was to warm Lauren’s heart and make her feel loved. It wasn’t his intention to make her sad and to grieve, so he came to a conclusion he wanted her to see it while he was still around. Ren was only two years old when the two became best friends, and at this age, it’s nearly impossible to store long-term memories, so Ron wanted to help Ren remember it all. So he started working on the gift when she was still a toddler.
In the Process
The process of putting everything together was quite monotonous, but it never discouraged Ron from continuing working on his precious gift. He was slowly adding parts and pieces to his secretive project which took years to be completed. As time was passing by, Ron wasn’t able to see his granddaughter daily anymore, but he kept on tirelessly working on the present.
Ron managed to keep this a secret for more than ten years. He had worked very hard on this beautiful gift which meant a whole lot for him, and he hoped Ren would love it too. Soon she and the entire family would find out what Ron had been up to for more than a decade. It indeed would touch everyone more than he imagined.
Slowly But Surely
Every day before bed, Ron would write down about his day spent with his granddaughter. It started as an ordinary cute gift but quickly turned into a long-term project requiring a lot of creativity and decent writing skills.
What Ron was doing every night looked like writing simple diary notes about his and Ren’s everyday lives. In reality, it was way more complex and unique than what it might have seemed like from the outside. He was working on something very special, something that Ren would remember and cherish for the rest of her life. Not everyone gets a chance to experience such a beautiful touching feeling coming from a not so ordinary birthday gift.
Wonderful Childhood Moments
Ren was lucky enough to spend her childhood with her grandparents and some other relatives of older generations. A strong bond with a grandparent can certainly awaken a sense of family in a child even at such a young age. Although it doesn’t take much to develop a close relationship, unfortunately, memories can quickly vanish away in a matter of time.
Ron wanted to make sure his granddaughter remembered all of the fun times they shared and hoped his gift to Ren would work out the way he planned it. By the time his granddaughter would turn 16 years old, Ron would already be 72. Even though nowadays this age is not considered to be very old, he still wasn’t sure.
A Completed Milestone
Ron kept working on his secret idea every single year without taking any time off. He still wasn’t entirely sure about when would be the perfect time to give Ren his present as he wanted to ensure it was finished and his granddaughter was old enough to appreciate it fully. Ron spent years thinking about it and trying to decide on the perfect timing, and then he finally decided on the date.
He wanted to give Ren his gift on her Sweet 16th birthday, as this date is very special and essential for every teenage girl. It represents a significant milestone in one’s life and is almost the beginning of adulthood. Ron’s gift would surely be cherished at any age. However, he believed giving it on her 16th birthday would be even more touching and meaningful to her.
The age of 16 is considered to be a massive milestone for people from all around the world. It indicates the transition from childhood into adulthood and calls for a big fancy celebration, especially for girls. Most of the female population prefer spending this day in a beautiful, elegant dress with many guests being present and their party.
The United States has a unique tradition on this day which involves throwing a huge memorable Sweet 16 birthday party. While in Latin communities, the 15th birthday is an essential date for girls called the quinceañera. Nevertheless, there are many other ways and traditions of celebrating adulthood.
The Jewish have their coming of age ceremony which is called the bar and bat mitzvah. Girls celebrate bat mitzvah at the age of 12 or 13, while boys do when they are 13 years old.
Catholics have their ceremony of reaching adulthood known as confirmation. Nevertheless, even with all of such traditions and ceremonies happening around the world, Ren certainly didn’t expect what was about to happen to her on her 16th birthday.
Ren and her grandfather shared an exceptional bond back in the days when she was still a toddler. He was lucky to live near Ren and her family, which undoubtedly made it easier for them to spend time together and made their relationship more special. Living close to one another allowed Ron to become a vital person in his granddaughter’s life.
Even though modern technology makes it way easier for families to communicate and maintain close relationships, that didn’t apply for Ron and his dear granddaughter. Ren was slowly approaching her 16th birthday and not expecting to receive something so memorable and pleasant as her birthday gift.
A Big Surprise On The Way
Ron had been working on his unique present for over a decade, and she didn’t suspect a thing. It’s incredible how he managed to keep his secret project going for this long without Ren ever finding out. She wasn’t realizing back then that soon she will receive the most valuable and precious birthday gift ever. It was something she would cherish for the rest of her life, or so her grandfather hoped.
As Ren as growing up, her relationship with Ron started changing due to her new daily routine and other obligations. She began attending school and slowly drifting away from her grandfather, who was also her best friend. Ron was worrying whether she was going to like his present or not, seeing that they weren’t as close as before, but he hoped for the best.
March 2017 was Ren’s 16th birthday, and her grandfather finally decided to give Ren his present which he worked on for over a decade. The fact that she had no clue about this unique present made this moment even more precious and touching.
However, when she opened the present, she was pretty confused and wasn’t sure what it was all about. The gift included three books labeled Lauren 1, 2, and 3. At that moment, the young lady was having a hard time putting the bits together and understanding the concept of this unusual birthday gift. But soon enough, everything became very clear to her.
Back In Time
Ren was dying of curiosity and proceeded to open the books and read what was written inside for her. The first thing she noticed about the writing was her name which was mentioned quite often throughout the pages.
Moreover, the notes were addressed to her personally. She was still confused by the discovery and kept on scanning through the pages.
Inside The Books
The birthday girl couldn’t understand what exactly she was looking at, so she decided to read the very first page carefully. As Ren was reading the first page of the book, her grandfather was looking at her with a lot of love and pride in his heart. He waiting for the moment Ren would realize what the gift was about and wanted to see her positive reaction to it.
As Ren kept reading the first page, she felt her heart stinging, but in a good way. Everything was starting to make more sense as she continued to read the pages of the first book. Ron couldn’t hold his emotions any longer as he was watched his beloved granddaughter scanning through his notes. His granddaughter finally received the gift in which Ron had put his whole heart and soul. Shortly after the discovery, everything made complete sense.
When the girl opened the first page of the notebook given by her grandfather, she saw familiar writing in dark pen with the words, “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.”
It turns out; her grandfather made all of the notes in each of the notebooks exclusively by hand. He added to the notes every single day after spending time with Lauren. This gift clearly showed a lot of patience and dedication from Ron, although this was not all of it. What he didn’t expect was how much impact these notebooks would have on his granddaughter and the rest of her family.
The Secret Project
After completing each note, Ron made sure to put a date next to it. The first entry was created on February 13, 2003, and since then he wrote new ones daily. Ron made the first note when his granddaughter was only two-years-old and the content of which completely amazed everybody in the family.
Ron was afraid that his granddaughter was going to forget about all of the memories they made together when she was still small. He wanted to give her the chance to hold on into it for the rest of her life through his handwritten notes, and that was the point of his unique present. Ron was right, his granddaughter couldn’t possibly remember everything, but she was quickly reminded through his detailed writing.
Heart Touching Gift
Initially, Ron thought this present was a good idea to remind his granddaughter through his notes about her childhood spent with him. He was right; Ren was way too young to remember the details and moments she had shared with Ron.
Ron immediately loved his granddaughter as soon as she was born and spent most of his free time with the two-year-old Ren. Ron and his granddaughter grew close until she was about five years old as then Ren had to start attending kindergarten. Since then, Ron was no longer able to make daily entries about his beloved Ren as they were not spending as much time together as before. Though what he wrote about Lauren during the times he did see her made the young lady extremely emotional.
Memories Coming Back
The two made a lot of great memories together which quickly filled the whole three notebooks. Ron wrote many stories about his time with Ren but, unfortunately, she could barely remember anything about their time together…
Lauren was carefully examining the pages and realizing how many amazing memories she shared with her grandfather. Ron was hoping for his granddaughter to start remembering about her childhood through his handwriting, but this gift did so much more for her than he initially expected.
Of course, it is impossible to remember all of the details and Ron himself did let some memories to slip away. Nevertheless, there was one particular note which caught Ren’s attention. It was recorded when she was only two years old.
The note was talking about a particular game that Ron and his granddaughter loved to play back in the days. The name of it was short and simple, “See ya”. Just like its name, the game was straightforward, maybe not for Ron though. His role was to act as silly as possible to make Ren laugh heart out. “He used to do this ‘See Ya’ game, and he would run into the wall over and over and over, and I would die,” Ren shared. But this was not the end of it…
Another special memory for both of them was when Ron took her to the department store in which they used the elevator. The little girl was so fascinated by the whole process of riding the elevator that she kept asking Ron to continue riding it up and down.
Ren had come up with her nickname for the elevator – an “alligator.” Though that day Ron didn’t get much shopping done at the department store, he sure had a great time riding the “alligator” up and down with his granddaughter. Ren was becoming more and more emotional as she was reading through each of the stories, but there was more to come, something that would leave her speechless.
More Touching Stories
Ren couldn’t stop reading her grandfather’s notes even for a second. She kept scanning every page until she came across other beautiful stories from her childhood. The notebook contained one more touching story, and it was about another game she used to play with Ron.
At that point, she couldn’t hold her emotions anymore… “One of your favorite things is for me to push the button on your clock and do my silly dance. When I say ‘Lauren do it,’ you sit in your bed and say ‘papa’ and I keep dancing, falling, running into the wall, turning around like an uncoordinated fat ballerina, and you keep laughing,” Ron wrote in his notes. Lauren couldn’t contain herself after reading those words. She was feeling so many emotions at the same time while reading Ron’s notes.
Ren’s Reaction To The Notes
Ren was absolutely amazed and shocked by her grandfather’s present. She couldn’t understand how he managed to keep this a secret for over a decade and spend so much time keeping up with the updates on her life.
Ron was never the one to multi-task while spending time with his granddaughter, which is why Ren was so confused. He would never work on something while watching TV or doing other things. It was always one task at a time for him. In reality, Ron was making all of the notes while his granddaughter was taking a nap or lying down in bed and this is why she never suspected a thing.
Ren quickly realized how special this birthday gift was. Her grandfather spent all of these years preparing something unforgettable for her. The birthday girl couldn’t control her emotions as she kept reading the rest of the notes. These notes were the most beautiful present she had ever hoped to receive.
Ren felt very special on her Sweet 16th birthday. While other girls might have received expensive jewelry or cars, Ren, on the other hand, got something priceless from her grandfather. The notes helped her to remember more funny stories and amazing memories she shared with Ron.
At The Zoo
There were a few particular entries that immediately grabbed Ren’s attention. When she was a child, Ron would often take her to a zoo as she enjoyed looking at different animals. It wasn’t just any zoo; there was a particular one she loved the most.
“The rescue zoo — we’d go there every day except Monday when they were closed,” Ren’s grandfather later told Today. “And we’d go look at all the stuff, and then I’d buy her every trinket in the gift shop.” While this gift was beyond touching, what Ren ended up doing with it made this story even more beautiful.
An Amazing Accomplishment
There were a total of 185 handwritten pages in all three notebooks prepared by Ron. All of the stories Ron wrote about his time with Ren were indeed incredible. Unfortunately, he had to stop writing entries when his granddaughter turned five years old as he was no longer able to see her daily.
Nevertheless, now Ren has the opportunity to go over all of these beautiful stories and remember her childhood spent with Ron. If it weren’t for these notes, she would never be able to relive these incredible moments. She is lucky to receive such a precious gift; however, the story goes on…
Sharing The Love
Ren took photos of her present and shared it on her Twitter account. Her tweet received a lot of attention almost immediately, and as of now it has over 160,000 retweets, and the number is still going up. Lauren was deeply affected by this precious gift and said she is hoping to do the same for her future grandchildren.
“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,” she said.
A Mindful Saving And Great Opportunity
It’s a known fact that childcare is becoming more and more expensive every year. Having a grandparent or an older relative watching a kid is a fantastic opportunity for developing a close, loving relationship. Ron was lucky enough to experience this beautiful feeling with his dear granddaughter Ren.