It's the middle of the night. Granddaddy wakes up... opening one eye, then the other. He stares at me intently, looking puzzled. "Alicia?" he asks, "what was the name of Napoleon's wife?"
I smile, knowing where this will lead.
"Oh yes! Eh bien, un jour, Napoléon dit à sa femme Joséphine, 'quelle est la différence entre vous et un miroir?' 'Je ne sais pas' repondit..."
"Yes... that's right. 'Je ne sais pas...'" he pauses to catch his breath. "...et bien, 'un miroir reflechit, mais vous, vous..."
I can feel granddaddy getting weaker. I squeeze his hand and readjust his oxygen mask gently, finishing the punchline for him.
"Parlez sans reflechir?"
He chuckles softly.
"Exactly. I love that one..."
"I do too, Granddaddy."
He closes his eyes slowly and drifts back to sleep. He's told me that joke a thousand times, the pleasure he gets out of it each time has always made me laugh so hard... I think, at one point, he must have realized that I giggle more from his repetition, than the punch line itself.
Some day soon, I'll learn to blog about him in past tense... humor me for now.
** For those of you still focused on the joke, the second half goes "Et bien, repondit Josephine, un miroir est poli, mais vous ne l'êtes pas."