When I learned of John McCain’s death, I was surprised to also learn that his mother is still living. After all, Roberta McCain is 106 years old. Few Americans have the chance to be nearly 82 years old, as Sen. McCain was, and still have the blessing of a living, breathing parent on earth. For most of us, our American genes haven’t yet evolved to the point where being a centenarian is the rule rather than the exception.

I heard of Mrs. McCain’s fiery, strong-willed spirit, a tenacity that was atypical for women of her generation. In one example, after being told by a rental car agency that she was too old to rent a car for her trek across Europe, she asked the rental agent how much the car cost. Then, she bought it. (Washington Post, 2018)

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