Chapter 10: Lisa's last Days
It's Wednesday morning and Ty and Amy arrive on schedule in France. Jack is there at the gate waiting to collect their things and bring them to the villa. The villa is quite the place. It has made a name for itself, with premium wines that are sold exclusively in France. The operation is run by Fernando so Lisa and Jack don't have much to do on a day to day basis so they spend most of their time traveling or socializing with friends.
Jack, "There you guys are! Thank you for coming. I must say it is a bit overwhelming right now and to see your faces, the faces of family, brings joy to my day!"
Amy, goes up to Jack and hugs him tight, "Grandpa, I am so sorry that you have to go through this again. I want to help you, no, we want to help you and Lisa get through this. You need to know that we all are praying that God will make these coming months easy on the both of you!"
Ty, waiting his turn to hug Jack, says, "Jack, we are so glad you guys have decided to come home. The family can't wait."
It is about a 30 minute ride to the villa with some of the most beautiful scenery France has to offer. The vineyards line the valleys and the hills and at this time all the grapes are in harvesting stage. Jack, "This is beautiful country and Lisa just loves it here. But to tell you the truth, I think it doesn't get much better than Heartland."
Amy, "This is beautiful. I see why Lisa is in love with this place. Grandpa, how does she "really" feel about coming back to Heartland for her last months? "
Jack, "Well, I think she is excited to be around family. Also, she needs to arrange some things with the business so that when she is gone there will be a smooth transition within the family. I know you and Ty pretty much have your businesses separated from Fair Field, but Lou and Peter are partners with us and we need to make sure that everything is setup for when she is gone."
Ty, "Jack, I know that is probably the hardest thing to consider right now!"
Jack, "Well, you know Lisa. She wants to make sure all her affairs are in order before she leaves us. Guys, I need to warn you that Lisa is not the same as you last saw her. This disease has really caused a great deal of stress on her body. She is going to put up a good front, but underneath, she is in a lot of pain and has to take treatments for that daily. I just wanted to warn you before we get to the house."
Amy, "Grandpa, how are you doing? This is the second time you have gone through something like this. So how are you holding up?"
Jack, "Amy, I won't lie. It has been very tough watching Lisa battle this disease. She has put up a good fight, but in the last few weeks, it has been difficult for her. I just hate to see her in all that pain. I wish there was something I could do for her."
Amy, "Grandpa, is she going to be able to handle the travel back to Heartland?"
Jack, "It will be difficult. That is why we have decided to leave back with you guys on Friday. We have done everything here, so it is really just to pack up and take the trip. We do have to make sure that Fernando is settled in, that is why Lisa wants to be here another day. She is going to make him a partner in the winery so that he will be more committed to the business. So here we are, do you remember staying here on your honeymoon?"
Ty, "We sure do. That was a magical week for us. We toured the countryside, hiked around the fields , we even rented a motorcycle and took a couple of road Trips.
Amy, "That was so sweet of you guys letting us spend our honeymoon here at the Villa."
As Jack pulled into the circle, Lisa was sitting on the front porch waiting for them to arrive. As they pulled around, she got up slowly and with her walker started toward the stairs. Amy jumps out of the back seat and runs up to the top of the stairs and gives Lisa a big hug. "Lisa, it is so good to see you. Both ladies become quite emotional when Lisa says, "I guess Jack has filled you guys in on the situation."
Amy, "Yes he has. I am so sorry Lisa that you have to go through this. Lyndi wanted me to let you know that she is praying for you and looks forward to having you back home at Heartland."
Lisa, "Amy, are you sure about this. I don't want to be a burden…"Amy breaks in. "Lisa, you are family. You are my grandmother. You will never be a burden to us . We are just happy that we can be there for you during this time. Like all the times you have been there for us. This is the least we can do. Lisa, I don't think I have ever told you this, but I love you so much. You were there when I needed you the most and you always supported me. I want so much to be able to now be there for you. Matter of fact, the whole family is anxiously awaiting you back at Heartland so that we can support you and Grandpa during this time."
Lisa, "Amy, that means so much to me. Thank you!" Both ladies embrace each other with tears falling down each ones face.
Ty and Jack are bringing the bags into the house. Amy and Lisa go inside to meet them. Lisa, "Ty, I understand you have been really doing well with your practice. Lou and Peter tell me that our clients are so pleased to have you as our veterinarian. I am so proud of what you and Amy have accomplished with your business and hope that you will have continued success."
Ty, "Lisa, we couldn't of have done it without you putting your trust and confidence in Amy and I. Fair Field was our first real full time client. Really, we wouldn't probably be here if it wasn't for you!"
Lisa, "Ty, you and Amy will be successful at whatever you put your hearts into. Your success is because of your love for what you do and it shows."
Ty, "Well, thank you Lisa. I want you to know that our kids can't wait for their GG Lisa to come back to Heartland to stay."
Lisa, "I can't wait to see them. It has been a while. I bet they have really grown!"
Jack, "Well, let's get you guys settled in. I think Lisa need to rest a bit before supper."
Lisa, "Jack, you fuss over me to much! But I love you for it. Guys, I will see you in a bit."
Amy and Ty, go to their room and settle in. It was a long trip from Calgary so they decide to nap a bit as well.
At supper Lisa is in a lot of pain and is struggling to stay engaged in the conversation around the table. She manages to get a few comments in, but clearly each sentence causes her a great deal of pain to get out. Lisa, "Amy, Ty, I want you to know that I have provided for you in my will. Jack and I discussed that since I don't have any family, that we want you guys, along with Peter and Lou to take full control of my enterprises. Including this vineyard." Jack breaks in, "Lisa, we don't have to discuss that now. We will have plenty of time to go over that when we are back at Heartland."
Lisa, "No Jack, I think it is important that I say what I need to say now! She takes a breathe, "Like I was saying, Jack and I have laid out the details so that when I am gone there will be a smooth transition of the assets. However, I do have one request. I want you to promise me that you will keep the businesses in the family and incorporate it into the Heartland tradition. Fairfield is my family's legacy, and now that we have combined our families, I want the legacy to be the Heartland/Fairfield legacy. Will you promise me that!"
Amy, "Lisa, I would like nothing more than to include Fairfield into our families legacy. With the Twins, Lyndi, Katie and Georgie, we can continue the heritage for many years to come."
Ty, "I agree with Amy. However, there is one concern that I have."
Lisa, "What is that?"
Ty laughing, "I don't know anything about growing grapes!"
They all begin to laugh, but clearly Lisa is struggling to enjoy the moment.
Lisa, "I hate to be a party pooper, but Jack would you mind helping to my room. I am feeling a bit winded and need to call it a night."
Amy and Ty, "Good night Lisa, we will see you in the morning."
Jack shuffles off to put Lisa down and stay with her until she falls asleep.
Ty, "Wow, Amy. Lisa really is struggling. That disease has zapped the life out of her, hasn't it."
Amy, "I didn't expect to see her in such distress. Ty, I know we have never done this, but can we take a few minutes and pray together for Lisa and ask God to take over this situation and guide us through this?"
Ty, "I think we should. Boy I wish Lyndi was here. She would know exactly how to handle this. Why don't we hold hands and I will start the prayer, then you can finish it. Ok?"
So Ty and Amy sitting at the table holding hands begin to pray for the first time together. Ty, nervously starts to pray as Amy squeezes his hand as he voices all his request. First, for Lisa and her pain, then safe travels to Heartland, and then for Jack. Amy concludes the prayer and ask that He prepare the family for Lisa's homecoming. When she finished she said, "Ty. Did you feel something when we were praying?
Ty, "Maybe. Like what?
Amy, "I felt this peace that overcame me that God was going to take this situation into His hands and that I did not need to worry."
Ty, "Wow, Amy, I got the same feeling. I wonder what that means."
Amy, "We will have to wait and see."
Amy and Ty go to their room and settle in for the night. The next morning they were awaken by a very distraught Jack. "Ty, Amy, come quick. I can't get Lisa to wake up!" Ty and Amy slip on their robes and run to Lisa's room with Jack in toe. Ty gets to Lisa first and put his fingers on her neck to check her pulse. He slowly pulls his hand away and looks at Jack. "I am so sorry Jack, Lisa does not have a pulse. He then pulls her eyes back and sees that she has no response. "Jack, I am so sorry but Lisa has passed away!" Jack becomes emotional and begins to cry as he pulls Lisa's hand up to his face. "My darling Lisa, I am going to miss you. I am going to miss you so much! You have made me such a happy man for all these years, you have been my best friend. I am going to miss you, so, so much!"
Amy tearing up, begins to rub Jack on his shoulders. She looks at Ty who is also in tears and grabs his hand. The both of them stand there as Jack is speaking to Lisa for the last time.
After several minutes, Jack puts Lisa's hand along her side and pulls away. He looks at Ty, then Amy and says, "I am so glad you guys are here. I don't know if I could have done this without you. Lisa has become such an important part of my life. How am I going to live on?
You know Lisa was looking forward to returning to our family at Heartland. She especially wanted to see Lyndi. Since the Olympics, Lisa has been talking and writing to Lyndi about how Georgie used God to help her get through the Olympics. They also discussed Ty's coma and accident and Lisa wanted to understand more about Lyndi's faith. I know that when Lisa started really feeling the pain of the disease, I would find her praying that God would take over her illness and give her some peace. It looks like her prayer was answered."
Ty takes hold of Jack with a strong embrace as he is now crying uncontrollably, "Jack, you have always been the rock of this family. You have been there every time to help us through difficult situations. Today, let me be your rock. Lean on me, no, lean on us. Amy and I can carry the load for you. Jack, everything will be ok. God has limited Lisa's suffering and we should gain peace from that."
Amy, joining Ty in the embrace, Grandpa, you can let it go. Lisa is at peace now and we are here to be your support. We are all going to miss her. But her spirit will live on through Heartland-Fairfield."
Jack, still sobbing, says," Thank you. You guys mean so much to Lisa and I. I know having you here meant so much to her."
Amy, "I love you Grandpa. Let's get you and Lisa back to Heartland so the family can say their last goodbyes."
The next few days were filled with settling final business with Fernando and making the arrangements to have Lisa flown back to Hudson. The plans were to bury her in the family cemetery alongside Lyndi and Marion. Ty and Amy, prepared the house for lockdown since they did not know when they would be returning to France while Jack visited some friends to inform them of Lisa's passing and his plans to return to Heartland. Ty called back to Heartland and spoke to Tim about setting up the loft for Jack so that when they arrived it would be cleaned and ready to be moved into.