Grandparents are some of the most special and influential people a person can have in their lives. They love unconditionally and are always ready to spoil their grandchildren, laugh with them, and lend a listening ear.
Lauren Blank, who goes by “Ren,” knows this special relationship even better than most. She has an incredibly close relationship with her grandfather, who helped raise her from a young age.
“He has been there for me and has been one of the most influential people in my life,” she said.
On Wednesday Ren turned 16 and her grandfather gave her a special gift that left her completely stunned – a set of journals he had kept of their time together from when she was 2 until she turned 5.
He had been saving them for her for years, and on the morning of her birthday, he called Ren’s mom to see if he should give the journals to her now or wait until after she died. Her mom told him to give them now so he and Ren could share the sweet memories together, and Ren is so glad she did.
“He waited so long to give it to me because he just wanted me to understand and appreciate the moments that we had together when I was little,” she said.
When she first saw the notebooks she was confused, but as she began to read she was overcome with emotion.
“I was completely in shock and couldn’t even cry at first,” she said. “Then I saw my whole family was crying and I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime gift.”
She said her grandfather wrote about daily life and the little moments they shared together that brought him joy.
“The notebook is just filled with daily things that we did,” she said. “We went to the zoo a lot, and flew kites, and throughout the notebooks, he gave me advice.”
In one of the entries, her grandfather wrote about making Ren laugh by dancing “like an uncoordinated fat ballerina” and playing dress-up.
“One of your favorite things is for me to push the button on your clock and do my silly dance,” he wrote. “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.”