Going Down Memory Lane

Four hours on a Friday night.
Five friends taking a trip down memory lane.
Telling stories, sharing laughs and enjoying a few beers.
It was something we have done numerous times but this time it was different because we did not know if we will ever get this opportunity again.
It was never mentioned but I am pretty sure each of us at the table thought it.
“Will this be the last time we see our friend alive?”
He was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer on Wednesday.
The doctor told him he has 50 percent chance to live to see 2014 with the chemotherapy treatment. Two days later we met him at a local watering hole and gave him what he wanted: lots and lots of stories.
He just wanted to hear and talk about the good old days we had while we were at college. To remember all of the stupid shit we lived through and were lucky enough to still recall.
It was a good time despite the circumstances.
We were locked in. Ignoring the wall of TVs, the classic rock, and the other customers.
Just focused on our table and contributing our funniest stories and memories from what seems like a lifetime ago. Talking about the fun we had when we were much younger and life was not as complicated.
We were not worried about mortgages, our jobs, our relationships ... anything for those four hours.
We were just in the moment and we wanted it to last forever.
But we knew it couldn’t.
Unfortunately, life does not have a pause button.
However for those four hours on that Friday night we were all back in school at the University of Idaho. Nobody had been divorced, nobody hated their job, nobody hated their situation, and nobody had cancer.
But it had to end. We had to go back to reality.
We would wake up tomorrow with hangovers and the daily grind of life with all of its worries would return, but for this one single night we went back in time and just reminisced about how much fun we had, how much life we had lived, and how much we loved our friend.
Stay strong Jeff, and kick cancer’s ass so we can have another four hours on a Friday night sharing laughs, enjoying a few beers, and making some new memories.

This is a picture of me and Jeff. I thought it was a good one because he and I both studied hard but definitely enjoyed our free time at school, and to us that usually meant drinking some beers. And if anyone has a clue where I can get a Grateful Duck shirt I will owe you big time. It was one of my favorite shirts from college and I have not been able to find one since I graduated.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.


  1. Good luck to your friend! Tell him to stay strong.

    That is a snazzy looking shirt my friend haha :)

  2. Awwww, I'm sorry about your friend. You guys gave him the best medicine ever.

  3. It sucks that we jut don't get the time we want to spend with our best friends and loved ones. My Dad is in Florida and I haven't seen him since we danced together at my wedding. That was October of 2004. My sister lives in NOLA while her husband is stationed at the air base and fabulous Gretna, Jefferson Parish. My Aunt is in Miami. My mom's mom is in Kansas City. The people who shape our lives and with whom we forge bonds with always seem to be a letter or phone call or plane trip or car ride away. In the meantime we work 40 hours a week slogging away at a job for the privilege of taking a two week sabbatical that gets spread around as best as we can spread it. I'm tired of it. I mean, I'm glad to have an income but I sure wish I had the time to myself to spend as I please. My blog buddy Bunni isn't doing so hot either. Liver cancer and a bad case of cellulitis has got her down and it isn't looking good. This world is full of a lot of surface situations that don't amount to a hill of beans. It's the relationships that matter the most. I hope you glean the most out of your friendship with your college friend while he is still here. My prayers and best wishes to you and your friend. Now go kiss and hug your Wife and read your kiddos an awesome story. ;-)

  4. I wish the best for your friend. You are one of the good ones Mr. Shife, never sell yourself short.

  5. So sorry to hear about your friend, Matt. It was good to get together and relive some happy memories. I hope more meetings will be possible.

  6. It's sad it sometimes takes an event like that to bring everyone together again. I have friends I'd love to do that with, but geographic distance won't allow it. I'm glad you had the opportunity to do it, and I hope you will again.

    I might make it a mission to find that shirt for you.

  7. Unfortunately, I have been through similar situations way too often. Just keep having as many of these loving, good times as you can. Be present in whatever way your friend wants. You will be glad you did.

  8. it's both a beautiful and cruel world we live in. hopefully the beautiful days will far outnumber the cruel days.

    be kind to yourself.


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