'It's tough to bury your child': Senator John McCain's death was a 'big blow' for his 106-year-old mother Roberta
Sen. John McCain's mother Roberta is very proud of her son's illustrious political career and says her son made a lasting impact on countless people
Roberta McCain, late Senator John McCain's 106-year-old mother, said her son made a lasting impact on countless people before his death, especially her.
In a conversation with People, a close friend of the McCain family said that Roberta is "incredibly proud" of her son — a longstanding politician and war hero who recently lost his battle to stage-four brain cancer at the ripe age of 81. “Roberta was his biggest supporter and the leader of his fan club. She was incredibly proud of him,” the source says. “His mommy loved him. He knew that.”
The source further pointed out that, although Roberta is grieving the loss of her son, she “is a very strong woman,” especially considering her age.
“She is all there, mentally, and is still going strong at 106,” the friend told the magazine. “She outlived her 81-year-old son. That tells you a lot. But it’s a tough blow to bury your child.”
Sen. John McCain‘s mother Roberta outlived him.— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) August 26, 2018
You can now rest, John. You did good. pic.twitter.com/NLuF7koMRM
Following Friday's devastating news that Sen. McCain would stop treatment for glioblastoma, Roberta spoke to her son on the phone and learned the extent of his illness, according to the insider. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, and Sen. McCain was diagnosed with the same back in July 2017.
“I can only imagine what she’s going through,” the tearful friend says of Roberta.
Furthermore, the outlet learned that Sen. McCain's first wife Carol and his mother still keep in touch and have conversations time and again.
According to the insider, the former lovers spoke regularly before Sen. McCain's death. "John never stopped loving Carol,” he said.
In another exclusive conversation with the magazine on Friday, another close family friend said, “Roberta is 106, but she’s spunky. She knows he is ill.”
Being a vocal supporter of her son's political decisions over the years, Roberta gave a speech to campaign workers during Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign at the ripe age of 96.
“Johnny is going to be the president of the United States and he’s going to keep the traditions and the standards high,” she told the crowd.
“All we want is a world where we can raise our children, have a chance at prosperity and happiness, and we can vote any way we want to,” she continued. “I can’t thank you enough. I wish I could kiss each one of you on the cheek. If I get a chance, I will.”
During Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign in 2007, Roberta spoke to People while traveling on the campaign bus. She even joked with her son, “I want to correct you when you start telling all those big lies.”
“This is wonderful! Can you imagine me comfortable on a bus?” Roberta quipped. Sen. McCain then told her to tell a story to the group about a driving mishap that happened in Arizona.
“It’s so dumb!” she began. “I was driving across the continent [in 2003] and had 300 miles to Los Angeles. I thought, well, I can make it tonight. So I put the gas on. I got a ticket for driving 112 miles per hour, signed my name and went on my way.”
During the interview, Roberta spoke highly of her son. “I think civilization depends on this election,” she told the magazine. “Johnny should have been dead 10 times already. Not just when he was a POW in Vietnam. He had so many near-misses [as a naval aviator]. He was saved for some reason.”
Following the senator's death, his 64-year-old wife Cindy took to twitter with an emotional post. She wrote, “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
Meghan McCain, his daughter, also praised her father in the wake of his death. “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things,” she wrote.
She added, “He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman — and he showed me what it is to be a man.”