By JoAnne Cianfichi, Lisa Quinlivan
JoAnne and Lisa met at the corner of Jackson and Pine in their hometown. It was a small Pennsylvania town with a big heart, and the girls found in each other qualities they sincerely needed. This is the story of two girls who would become steadfast friends after meeting during one of the first days of high school. As luck would have it, they walked home on the same route. Most students rode the bus since they lived in the suburbs. These two girls lived right in the city, which allowed for daily walks home together while they caught up on events of the school day. Many secrets were told at that corner and many tears were shed. But mostly there was the laughter of these 13 year old girls. Their lives were far from carefree, however. JoAnne lost her father to cancer when she was almost five, whereas Lisa lost her father on and off to alcoholism throughout much of her life. With similar yet very different childhoods, these two girls found each other and shared their teen years, providing support to one another for all the ups and downs. Yet life being as it is, there came the inevitable time when their paths diverged. Lisa became a young wife and mother while JoAnne went on to pursue college and career. In what they laughingly, yet seriously, refer to as their Â“bump”Â—and what would have been for other women way more than a Â“bump in the road”Â—misunderstandings and hurt feelings arose when JoAnne was getting married, with the potential to end their special bond. Through communication and perhaps a little luck, they were able to get past the hurdle of gossip and misstatements that seriously threatened their friendship. Years later, they are stronger than ever, wise about the missteps people take with friends, smart about how to avoid the traps, and philosophical about what friends can do for one another and how they add to a person’s life and happiness. They are perhaps even closer, for they almost lost what means so much to both of themÂ—their friendship. Through it all, both women have had various friendships. This is the story of their very special oneÂ…with each other.