The grandmother who brought him up died of cancer the day before Barack Obama was elected. My thoughts go out to her, and the gift she gave us all.

The daily International Herald Tribune asked me, as a citizen of both America and France, to answer two questions about Barack Obama’s election.

1. What was your first reaction when you learned that Obama was elected? 2. What effect do you think his election will have on America’s image in the world?

I wanted to share with you my response.

I thought about Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's grandmother, who died Nov. 3, one day before she could see the completion of the work of her life. I thought about the times when they had to get up at dawn, when the young boy complained about having to get up so early to do his homework with her, and of his grand-mother, telling him "it's not exactly a piece of cake for me either," and carrying him through nonetheless. I thought of this white woman, who occasionally feared black people and cursed them, but who did what she had to, morning after morning, out of love, out of duty, out of trust, to raise this child. Her vision is fulfilled today. She passed on the baton. From one race, one view of the world, to another. A vision more encompassing, more generous -- more resilient, too. More apt, certainly, to take on the fear and doubts of our time. In delivering us this glorious success, Madelyn Dunham and Barack Obama impose, once again, America's unique and never-challenged power: that of making everyone dream of a limitless future for their children, and, therefore, for the world.

My regards to all on this historic day.