A/N1—I'm taking a brief hiatus from "The Brady Eight." In light of Florence Henderson's death Thanksgiving Day, 2016, I've decided to start the sequel to "The Bradys." This will be in flashback format. RIP, Carol Brady. I'm using the same cause of death as what took Florence Henderson.
A/N2—Carolyn's still deaf. She still speaks and signs together. Her youngest daughter, Diamond, is also deaf.
A/N3—I will put the list of family members at the end of this chapter. Some aren't mentioned in The Bradys. I'm also using one thing the great grandkids did at my grandmother's graveside. I thought it was precious. The great grandkids will only have cameos in this story, so not all of them will be named.
At the Cemetery. Late November, 2016.
Six of the Brady kids gather around the plots, which hold their parents. Mike, gone since 1996, four years after his helicopter accident, is now joined by his wife, Carol, whose grave is fresh. She died of heart failure, less than a week ago, surrounded by most of her family. Two Brady kids are noticeably absent: Marcia and Ryan. Marcia died of cancer in 2010 and Ryan and his wife died in a car accident in 2000, leaving an infant son.
Greg: Sighs. Well, mom. You and dad are together again.
Jan: Sniffs. You would've loved the service. Ruby and Sapphire sang a duet and Robbie accompanied them on guitar. You always loved the girls' voices.
Cindy: And Michael gave the eulogy. It helps having a Rabbi in the family.
Peter: Tiffany and Steve wanted to be there, but she had the baby the... cries. …. the same day you died. It's a girl. They decided to name her Carol Ann, after you. She's beautiful, mom. She looks just like Tiff.
Tears roll down Bobby's cheeks.
Carolyn: Diamond was hoping you'd get to be there for her wedding. I... I can't believe you're gone. Cries into Jan's arms.
Cindy: Now you're with Dad, Paige, Cherish...
Peter: And Caryn.
Greg: And Eric.
Jan: Through sniffs. And Marcia and Ryan.
Carolyn: Why didn't mom and dad ever talk about Paige and Cherish?
Peter: It's hard losing a child, especially when it dies before it's born.
Greg: And back then, many people didn't talk about it.
Jan: This feels so surreal. A tear escapes her eye. Mom, Jessica and Mickey had such a hard time. We'd asked Mickey to be a pall bearer, but he just couldn't do it.
Bobby: The grandkids did a good job on the funeral.
Cindy: Mom, we had Kevin, Robbie, Chris, Jonathan, Dale, and Jeff be pall bearers...
A child's voice calls from the distance: Grampa! I want a flower.
Another child pipes up: Me too!
Jessica: Scolds. Laura and Jessa, no. Don't bother your great aunts and uncles.
Wally: Whispers. I'll see if it's okay. He approaches Greg. The kids want to know if it's okay if they each take a flower.
Some of the great grandchildren approach the gravesite and make bouquets. One four year old girl is hesitant.
Kevin: It's okay, Selyse. Grandpa said it's okay.
Selyse buries herself in her father's arms. An eight-year-old girl approaches Selyse and Kevin, and offers a red rose.
Girl: Here you go, Selyse.
Selyse smiles and receives the flower.
Kevin: Can you say thank you to Haley?
Selyse: Thank you.
Haley: Do you want to pick some with me?
Selyse: Looks at her father, who nods. Okay.
Haley and Selyse join the other cousins making bouquets. Nora sees Wally by himself.
Nora: Approaches Wally. How are you doing?
Wally: Six years later, and it's still hard. They watch the kids at the gravesite. Marcia loved her grandkids. She was a good grandmother. I'm sorry she didn't get to meet all her grandchildren.
Nora: Smiles. Haley is so much like her.
Wally: Chuckles. She does take after her and her Aunt Jessica. She's such a mother hen.
Nora: Watches her with Selyse. She loves mothering Selyse.
Wally: And her younger sister.
Nora: Who would've thought Mickey would have two girls.
Wally: Will Kevin and Amy have any more?
Nora: Probably not. They just wanted one.
The sun begins to set, and the kids have finished making their bouquets.
Greg: Can we gather around for a few minutes before we return to our respective homes?
The family gathers around the two graves.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Amen.
Then, the family patriarch prays: Almighty God, we gather beside this grave today to lay to rest the body of our mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. We do so remembering another grave in another place—the tomb that received the body of our Lord Jesus. As Jesus came from the grave to live again, we know that all who die in Him shall never truly die. Thank you, Father, that Carol has finished the course, that she has kept the faith, and that she now has rest from her labors. As we commit her body to the ground, we do so in perfect trust, remembering Jesus' victory over death and knowing, that because He lives, so too, shall we. Comfort our hearts through His words today; strengthen us now with His presence; and may Your grace and peace be ours both now and forever. Amen.
The family disperses: some of them remaining at the grave, and others hug each other and leave. Wally walks over to his wife's grave and sighs.
Wally: I miss you, Marcia. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about you. Your mother's funeral was really good. A fitting celebration of her life. Most of the grandkids spoke or sang, but Mickey and Jessica just couldn't do it. They miss you so much too! He begins to weep.
Mickey and Jessica see their father at their mother's grave and join him there.
Jessica: Gramma's with mom now.
Mickey: Blinks back tears. I miss you, mom.
They stand in silence until Wally motions that it's time to go. The six surviving Brady kids gather once more around their parents' graves.
Peter: Christine and I want to host a dinner. Just for us and spouses. No kids or grandkids.
Jan: Sighs. I think we need that.
Peter: Let us know what date works for you guys.
The kids embrace each other and somberly leave the gravesite.
-End of Chapter 1-
A/N4—The Brady Bunch family:
Mike: 1932-1996 died from complications of pneumonia, due to his immune system being weakened from injuries sustained from his helicopter accident.
Carol: 1934-2016 died from heart failure.
Greg: married to Nora, with two surviving kids: Kevin, born 1983 and Chelsea, born 1993; Eric was a stillbirth in 1995 (cause unknown).
Marcia: died 2010 from cancer. Wally remains a widower. They have two kids: Jessica (born in 1982) and Mickey (born 1983).
Peter: married to Christine. they have Chris (born 1993), Tiffany (born 1995), Jonathan (born 1997), and Joseph (born 1998); had Caryn (molar pregnancy) with his first love, Julie.
Jan: divorced from Phillip. they have four kids: Patty (adopted in 1990), Grace (adopted in 1992), Phillip IV (born 1996, shortly before Mike died. He was a surprise!), and they adopted Ryan's son, Aiden.
Bobby: married to Tracy. they have: Robbie (born 1992), Halee (born 1995), and twins Dale and Jeff (born 1997).
Cindy: married to Gary. They have four kids: Carlee, Jake, Sarah and Michael (born 1992).
Ryan: deceased. he and his wife, Shari, died in a car accident (in 2000) when their son Aiden was two months old. Ryan was 25, almost 26.
Carolyn: divorced from Jason. they have four girls: Crystal (born 1994; conceived prom night), Ruby (born 1995), Sapphire (born 1996), and Diamond (born 1997; she is deaf).
Paige: miscarried; gender unknown. Carol thinks was a boy.
Cherish: stillbirth in 1977; gender unknown. baby flipped and tied a knot in the umbilical cord, which caused the infant's death. child was intersex, so gender is unknown. Carol thinks the baby was a girl.
Children: Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy, Paige, Ryan, Carolyn, Cherish.
Grandsons: Kevin, Mickey, Chris, Robbie, Jake, Michael, Aiden, Jonathan, Phillip, Dale, Jeff, Joseph, [Eric].
Granddaughters: Chelsea, Jessica, Patty, Grace, Carlee, Sarah, Crystal, Tiffany, Halee, Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, [Caryn].
Peter and Christine bought the Brady home after Mike died. Carol decided to downsize. Most of the story will take place at the Brady home.