Jan. 31, 2013 Surprises all around

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Donovan and I were in a weird funk with our friendship, but fortunately, unless we sought each other out in the office, our paths did not cross too often.  He worked in a different department and our floor was huge.  Plus, a lot of the times, he was on a different floor or out of the office for meetings, as he was a young but high-powered lawyer with Ascot, Ascot, and Pemberly. 

It's been fantastic having Gimpy at work.  Since he had first dibs on the company car and driver, I carpooled with him and he filled our long car ride with interesting stories about his life, his family and his love for my grandmother.  I thought Jake and Emily had an intense love for one another - Gimpy had been holding a torch for Gram for 60+ years.  He loved the wife of his youth, but she passed on early and he never remarried.

"So you were the consummate playboy, waiting for my Gramps to die or divorce, so Gram could be yours?"  I asked with a laugh.

"Divorce, beheaded and died..." he sang Henry VIII's song.  "No, silly girl.  I was not waiting for Jerry to die or for your Gram to get divorced.  I figured if it was meant to be, it would happen again."

"How come you never married again?  Didn't you want kids?"

"I suppose that's a big regret, but I was busy building my career and the law firm, and I didn't really have time to build a relationship.  After Lauren died, I spent all my energy opening up the office in London.  When my younger brother finally graduated from law school, he was a big help.  And fortunately, he married a sweet gal who supported his workaholic tendencies.  I guess I traded a family for a career.  At the time, I also had no thoughts of trying to love someone again.  It took me a long time to forget your grandmother.  Why, I was almost 35 before Lauren and I married."

"It took you a decade to forget Grams?  That's so romantic!"

"That's pitiful is what it is.  But your Gram was and still is an unforgettable woman."

"What did you get Gram for Valentine's Day?  You know it's only two weeks away."

"Wouldn't you like to know, young lady?"

"Come on, Gimpy.  One clue."

"No clue for you.  You're too smart.  You'll figure it out on the spot.  Did I ever tell you I always thought of you as my only granddaughter?  None of the other Reid children caught my attention like you, Miss Jane."

"You mean Jake wasn't your favorite?  He's everybody's favorite grandchild.  Laney is a distant second.  People are obsessed with her American Girl doll look with the shiny blond hair and those cornflower blue eyes.  She really looks like a doll.  She's also the sweetest of us all, though she's a bit stuck in her own fantasy world.  It's like she never grew out of her elementary school dreams."

"It's always good to dream, Miss Jane.  You're too realistic, which makes you a bit pessimistic.  But then again, you chose law as a profession.  What else can you be?"  He chuckled.  "No, I fell in love with you when you first met me as a 3 year-old and couldn't decide what to call me.  You already had Gram and Gramps in your vocabulary, and you knew that I was similar in age with your grandparents so you were rather stumped.  Even though your entire family called me Mr. Ascot, you proudly informed us all at dinner one night that you were going to call me ‘Gimpy.’  That's when the name stuck, and that's when I knew you'd always be my favorite."

"Finally!  I'm somebody's favorite!"  I added much emphasis to those words.  "It's crazy that you, Gram and Gramps stayed friends."

"I always did like Jerry.  He was a capital fellow."

"I love the way you talk!  Your British accent is so cool."  I tried my best British accent but failed miserably.

Gimpy and I came home from work early, so I could help Mom get ready for Dad's birthday dinner.  No doubt she had everything under control, but it was a nice excuse to get away from Andrea.  The whole family was meeting tonight and we all looked forward to catching up on life.

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