Nashua, N. H. grandmother gets special birthday surprise

Published On: Jul 01 2013 07:19:37 AM HST

Rose Pollina refused to celebrate her 80th birthday without her granddaughter Danielle Ketels, who has been serving in Afghanistan for nine months.

So the Nashua grandmother was shocked when she got off the elevator to find a huge box in the lobby of her apartment building surrounded by her family.

Inside the box was the best birthday surprise she could ask for: Ketels, a petty officer in the Navy.

“I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it,” Pollina said when she saw her granddaughter.

The two couldn’t stop hugging each other and Pollina was practically speechless.

Pollina and Ketels are extremely close. They Skype daily and send each other gifts. The months apart have been difficult.

Ketels was scheduled to take a short leave close to her grandmother’s birthday and thought it would be a nice surprise, one that was months in the making.

“I kept telling her I couldn’t come home until October, because she kept asking me if she should call the president to see if I could come home early,” Ketels said.

It was hard to keep the secret, Ketels said, but she joked that fortunately Pollina is hard of hearing and when she would slip up and say something during a call home, her grandmother never caught it.

Pollina said she worries about her granddaughter every day, and now that she’s finally home, life can go on, including a very special milestone.


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