"My father undertook the writing of his Rendez-vous with the confident trepidation of a writer determined to give it his all. I regularly asked for news on the manuscript, careful not to ask too often in case he felt badgered, nor too seldom lest he felt abandoned.
From the end of the week to the end of the month, from the end of the term to the end of the year, I soon realised that I would never see this manuscript, that he would never finish it while never ceasing to write it, or, at least, without ever ceasing to imagine what a beautiful book it would be.
There were evenings, there were mornings. There was an autumn, a winter. I remember him, sitting next to me at Christmas, one hand on my leg, a hand which I saw for the first time as emaciated, freckled, criss-crossed with wrinkles, and with a smile saying: "I thought I wouldn't make it through to Christmas. And yet here I am. I'm starting to think I may make it through to next summer. I will be a perfectly acceptable centenarian." "