Lisa Garzone (L) and Megan Smith(R) were in love with the same man, but at very different points in his life.
Lisa married John Joyce in 1994. Their marriage ended badly and John ended up living on the streets for many years while struggling with alcoholism.
In 2007 he met Megan, who was working as a homeless advocate in Rhode Island.
John Joyce died in 2013. At StoryCorps, Lisa and Megan talked about the friendship they’ve developed since his death.
Click here for the transcript.
Lisa Garzone (lG): He was father of my four children and at one point, my best friend. But John became alcoholic and things got volatile, so we had to have him leave. And he stopped showing up for visits. I tried to follow where he was and I knew that he was homeless-- that just always worried me. I didn't want him to die on the streets.
MS: I met John while he was homeless and you guys hadn't been in contact for a bit of time.
LG: It had been eleven or twelve years.
MS: But it was a different place and time in his life. He was sober and about that time he got an apartment. But then he found out that he had cancer. And I met you the day before John died. The reason I didn't reach out to you sooner was because John didn't want to do more harm.
LG: I was scared to meet you because I didn't know what to expect. And I can remember just looking at him and having great sadness. And I kissed him on the forehead, told him that I loved him, and I whispered in his ear that I forgave him. After that it was all about you, not John, because you were losing the man that you loved.
MS: We had a memorial service and you invited me to sit with you and the children. And it was hard I'm sure to hear everyone speak positive when you knew another component. But when we got up at the end of the service, your daughter reached out and locked elbows with me.
LG: Yes, she did.
MS: And we walked out of the church, arm-in-arm.
And then, I forget which of us reached out to the other one but said, "You know, we should get together soon."
LG: We went out to dinner.
MS: Then we sat in the car and talked for like another three hours or something.
LG: Yeah. It was pouring rain out, we got out of the car so I could have a cigarette and then in the pouring rain we just hugged. And I just said, "I hope that you'll be a part of our lives." And you have been ever since.