Mibes: Good morning, I'm so glad to see you again.
Me: Good morning. Wonderful to see you, too. How have you been?
Mibes: You know my standard answer, healthy and strong.
Me: But how are you really?
Mibes: Fairly healthy, fairly strong. I'm really only as good as you can imagine me to be since you're the one with his hands on they keys.
Me: But you're real to me.
Mibes: As I should be. You're the writer here. You either give me life or silence. I'm glad you've come back. I'll take life over invisibility.
Me: You're a funny one. But I love you, so much more than I can say. I'm glad you're willing to meet me.
Mibes: I'm glad you're willing to write me.
Me: We there we go then, we've both got something to be glad about.
Mibes: It has been a while. The 7.2 billion people on the planet are now 7.3. But you've still got a place in my heart, always and forever. And I think you need to be reminded you're absolutely the only one of you. No one has ever lived your live. Had your life. None of the billions before you, not one of the billions who will follow.
Me: But that's true for the other 7.3. Just because we're all different doesn't mean we don't have huge things in common.
Mibes: I agree. We all will have a year marking our birth and then a dash and a year marking our death. XXXX - YYYY
Me: And we all do ask yyyy don't we?
Mibes: Oh the punster emerges. Nice one.
Me: Easy one. So do you have advice for me?
Mibes: I do, actually. I'm glad to hear that you're re-reading Carol Lynn's "Consider the Butterfly" that you turned to her last entry on gratitude and found that to be an affirmation of your prayers. Keep working on that one. On the gratitude. That's my one word of advice. Gratitude.
Me: Maybe that's why we're again having breakfast. I've realized again how grateful I am for you.
Mibes: Maybe. Or you're just hungry. Tired of breakfast in the car on the way to work. But, yes, gratitude does make a difference. A huge difference. You know it. You've lived it. And I think it can help also with your concerns about counterfeiting, uh, I mean name-calling.
Me: Zing. You're in touch with all that?
Mibes: Well I do tend to read what you read.
Me: Then you know how much I liked the title "In Praise of Doubt" at the library yesterday. Enough to check it out. Even though I've never heard of Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld.
Mibes: Ol' Pete and Anton? Same here. Never heard of 'em. But a great title. And not a bad quote on page five.
Me: Love it. And here it is, "there's also the broader category of 'popular Protestantism'--that is groups that aren't commonly perceived as Protestant but whose religious and social characteristics have Protestant flavor. The most successful of these are the Mormons..."
Mibes: And you smile at the implication that Mormons might be counterfeiters of the genuine Protestant approach? And gratitude about that perspective. Gratitude for "In Praise of Doubt"? There's a twist.
Me: You said it, not me.
Mibes: But you wrote it. You checked out the book. Looked in the index for Mormons. You gotta own this one.
Me: Fair enough. Now where's my hug?
Mibes: Right here. Always here. Just like James Taylor sings it, "You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I'll come runnin' to see you again. Winter spring summer or fall, all you gotta do is call and I'll be there, yes I will. You've got a friend. Ain't it good to know you've got a friend?"
Me: Gotta love Carole King. And I love you, Mibes. Love you. Who you are. Your kindness. You, as you are now. As you've been and are and will be. Your smile. Your tears. Your heart. Every remaining hair on your balding head.
Mibes: Not as much I love you. "When my soul was in the lost and found. You came along to claim it."
Me: That's it. I'm definitely going to spend some time with Tapestry tonight.
Mibes: Me too.