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|March 27, 2013
Written By: Josh Hawkins
like she had done during Jered's funeral service years earlier - her hand was firmly planted inside April's.
"Do you know who the man with Aunt Leslie is?" April whispered to her sister. "I didn't see him last night at dinner."
Jodi looked over at her aunt and replied, "Sabrina told me that's her husband. I can't remember his name, but he arrived
late last night."
"I would like to invite Ms. Jodi Bradshaw up to deliver her grandmother's eulogy," the priest announced.
As she made her way from the pew to the podium Jodi took comfort in knowing that through everything that she had been
through since her brother's death that April was still by her side.
Today was a difficult day for her family. Sadness and questions lingered all around she thought to herself as she looked
out at all the people gathered to memorialize her beloved grandmother. As she cleared her throat, Jodi only hoped that
the sentiments everyone kept telling her, that things would get better in time, were true.
"Pamela Holland Bradshaw McCarty, 69, of River's Edge, Texas was born on October 25, 1943 as the eldest daughter of
Billy and Maria Holland. She passed away," Jodi stated as a lump caught in her throat, "on November 23, 2012 in
"Pamela married her first husband, former Mayor Phillip Bradshaw on November 1, 1961 here at Saint Mark's. Following
Phillip's post-secondary education at the University of Texas in Austin, he and my grandmother returned here to River's
Edge where they made a home, built a successful multi-million dollar company and raised their three children - my father
Andrew and my aunts Leslie and Angela."
Jodi could fill the hot tears as they raced down her cheek as she eulogized her grandmother. She reached up and wiped
them away, but it didn't do any good. The faster she wiped, the more they fell. Jodi forced a smile and linked eyes with her
"By trade my grandmother was a successful businesswoman and humanitarian. She was a member of the River's
Honor Society and was named Woman of the Year by the organization three times. Her charitable contributions not only
impacted those here at home, but reached across the entire state of Texas. Pamela served as the Chief Operating
Officer of The Bradshaw Corporation and since her 2000 election, was the Chairwoman of the St. John's Hospital Board
"Pamela was preceded in death by her parents, her late husband Phillip Bradshaw and her grandson..." the words of the
paper caught Jodi by surprise and she looked out at the congregation. She quickly cleared her throat and continued, "her
grandson Jered Bradshaw. She is survived by her husband Travis McCarty of the home, her sister Claire Holland Monroe
and her husband Charles, three children - Andrew and his wife Sabrina, Dr. Leslie Bradshaw Stevenson and her
husband Luke, and Angela Bradshaw, as well as two step-children Alex McCarty and Isabella McCarty-Prescott, three
grandchildren myself, April and Brayden and one great-granddaughter Emily."
Jodi looked down at the paper and smiled as she thought of her grandmother, "My grandmother was one in a million.
She was smart, beautiful, fearless and fiercely protective of her family. If I can only inherit from her a quarter percent of
those qualities then I know I will be a better woman for it."
|Coming Soon on All Or Nothing
|There's a yellow rose in Texas, that I am gonna see,
nobody else could miss her, not half as much as me.
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her, we nevermore will part.
call them your friend. Over the years Pamela has meant many things to me – she was a mother when I needed a mother,
she was a friend when I needed a friend, a confidant when I needed a confidant and from time to time a sparring
partner,” Natasha smiled.
“This is a difficult day for me…to say goodbye to such an influential woman in my life. Now after all these years I can't
even remember a time when she wasn't part of my life."
"Pamela was there for me during every formative stage in my life just like my own mother was. She not only watched as I
transitioned from a young woman to a young wife to a new mother and finally a grandmother – she taught me how to be
all of those things and more.”
“The relationship that Pamela and I shared wasn’t always sunshine and lollipops as she used to say,” Natasha
admitted. “There were certainly times that we didn’t see eye-to-eye about things and we would argue. In fact I still
remember the first time I really challenged something she had said…” she looked to Leslie and Angela, “she came right
back at me and I was terrified all over again. It helped me to realize thought what a powerful force this woman truly was. It
was an eye opening experience to say the least."
will say thought is that I am forever grateful and proud to have had this woman be part of my life for as long as she was."
and that is my children. Never will I forget the impact Pamela has made in my life. I have been blessed, as well all have to
have been a passenger in her journey on Earth."
Natasha pressed her fingers against her lips and kissed them. As she walked past the portrait she placed her hand on
Pamela’s cheek…this truly was a devastating day for her.
front of the church next to a large arrangement of yellow roses. The three month long search for
her former mother-in-law had been painful, tiring and devastating she thought to herself. No
one imagined that it would have ended here. She turned around to the congregation of
mourners and couldn’t believe that this was the end…the end of a legacy.
“I was just a girl the first time I met Pamela and Andrew can back me up on this...I was
terrified,” Natasha sighed as she ran her hand along the frame of the portrait. She could feel
the tears already swelling in her eyes. “I was lucky to have had the great privilege and the
honor of not only knowing Pamela for over half of my life, but to have been her daughter-in-law
for nearly twenty years.”
|She's the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds; they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Clementine, and sing of Rosalee,
But the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl for me.
not only strong-willed but she was also set in her ways and it took nearly an act of God himself to change her mind."
"I look out and see many faces that I recognize and some that I don't," she told the entire church. "Many of you know me
as the wife of Senator Charles Monroe and the former First Lady of Texas...but I was a more than, I am more than that...I
was also Pamela's baby sister," she admitted. "It's funny that I can stand up here and so freely say that without
reservation or hesitation, because of the majority of my adult life I ran from that identity."
"Pamela and I didn't speak for nearly thirty-five years..." Claire admitted. "I hated my sister," she stated as tears welled
within her eyes...
Pamela in the foyer of The Governor's Mansion in Austin. "I'm afraid that I'll have to ask you to leave now."
Pamela shook her head and seared with fury, "You tell the First Lady, my sister, that I don't give a damn about
what she wants. I came to see her and I intend to do just that. So no I won't be leaving young lady."
"Oh is that a fact Pamela?" Claire appeared in the doorway.
"Mrs. Monroe should I call security?" the employee questioned as Pamela arched an eyebrow at her sister.
"No Catalina that won't be necessary. In fact could you give me some privacy please?" Both of the women
watched as the young girl disappeared into the house and once she was gone Claire questioned, "What are you
doing here Pamela? What is that you want?"
"I came to see you," Pamela answered. "Is that so hard to comprehend?"
Claire shook her hair, "It's not hard to comprehend Pamela because I'm not idiot. The question you should be
asking is it believable that after all this time you would show up here and now. I don't have time for this...and I
certainly don't have time for the likes of you."
"I beg your pardon," Pamela snapped. "The likes of me? I am your sister, not some hobo off the street Claire. I'm
the only family that you have left."
"You think you're the only family that I have left? I have my husband, I have my son and when it comes to you
sister dear...well I wrote you off a very long time ago. You're dead to me and you have been for years!"
she moved out of the house we were raised in...an abusive house."
Our father was an unemployed, alcoholic man and our beautiful mother was overworked and oblivious to the pain he
caused to Pammy and me."
"I said in the beginning that Pamela was strong-willed and set her ways, the truth is I'm the same way," she told everyone
as the tears slowed. "I carried a grudge against Pamela and for to many years convinced myself that I was better off
without her in my life. Now here I stand...and I wonder why I did those things, because right now the only thing I want is to
see my sister once again..."
|When the Rio Grande is flowing, the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night:
I know that she remembers, when we parted long ago,
I promise to return, and not to leave her so.
almost bet that the claws would eventually come out," she said as her mind thought of all the fights they had shared over
the last year. "There's been quite a lot said about Pamela today...her strong work ethic, her character, her love for her
family and all of those things are true...but the one thing that hasn't been said is that no matter what, she always gave as
good as she got," Sabrina smiled. "And I should know I was usually the one on the receiving end."
today? I’m going to make it my personal mission to bring you down little girl…I promise to God you will regret this
one day Sabrina,” Pamela warned.
up a little, "that I reminded her of herself at my age..."
matter is that I'm proud of you."
"Oh I'm sorry what did you say?"
"For God's sake," Pamela sighed heavily. "Are you going to really make me say it again?"
"Yes," Sabrina shook her head, "I'm afraid you are going to have to repeat yourself."
"The one thing I've never told you or anyone else for that matter is that I am proud of you. I don't condone your
methods and I never will approve of the fact that you're running The Bradshaw Corporation, but if you take the
latter of the equation...you sort of remind me of a young me."
"That was one of the greatest days of my life...because I had her validation and approval. That's the other thing about
Pamela, that she was always able to give credit where credit was due," Sabrina looked to the portrait. "I never told
Pamela this and the truth is if we weren't all here right now I probably would have never said this aloud...but I am better
person, a better woman, a better wife and far better mother for having known Pamela," she told everyone, "and I think it's
important that everyone know that...even though it's too little too late."
going to say about Pamela," Sabrina began. "You probably find it strange that of all the people,
in all of Texas that I would be the one to stand here and memorialize a woman who hated me
as much as Pamela did. In fact some of you are probably even curious if hell as finally frozen
over," she laughed, "it hasn't."
"And I don't mean to laugh or be insensitive, but the irony of it all is to much not laugh at it...
because I think Pamela would have. She hated me and well I hated her to be quite honest...or
at least that's what I thought."
Sabrina thought for a moment. She thought of what she truly wanted to say.
|Oh now I'm gonna find her, for my heart is full of woe,
We will do the things together, that we did so long ago
We'll play the banjo gaily, she'll love me like before,
And the yellow rose of Texas shall be mine forevermore.
"It's a difficult at times relationship with my mother seems to be a common concurrence today when people speak of her
and I am no different. I too had a difficult relationship with her, I'll be the first one to concede to that fact and admit to what
Natasha has already said - life wasn't always sunshine and lollipops," Angela admitted. "And Sabrina she too was right,
Mother could always give as good as she got. In fact sometimes it was even better."
"My mother and I argued about everything from the time I was thirteen years old until I was well into my thirties," Angela
smiled for the first time in days at the thought. "And then something dawned on me...no matter the argument, no matter
the disagree, no matter the circumstance, no matter if it was her darkest hour or finest...our mother..." she choked up on
tears, "was the glue that held the Bradshaw family together."
"She was my mentor, my confidant and I know without a shadow of doubt that she was and will always continue to be the
heart and soul of this family. A family that she loved more than anything in this world, a family that she would protect
against anything in this world and anyone had the opportunity to ever be loved by my mother..." Angela smiled again, "they
knew that when she loved it was all or nothing..."
lucky to have had a mother like our mother," she said to her brother and sister, "even though
there were times we may have thought otherwise - especially when we were growing up."
Angela drew in a deep breath and her inner voice told her that she could this...it wasn't as bad
as she had anticipated.
"Our mother was a pillar of strength. She was just as kind and loving as everyone here today
has said she was. She was also smart and beautiful and elegant and as her daughters my
sister and I can attest that at times it is difficult to live up to those standards that she set. When
you're the daughter of a woman like Pamela Bradshaw McCarty the world expects the same
qualities from you, but what they don't know is that she expected them as well - ten fold."