John McCain's mother, 106-year-old Roberta McCain, will attend the later Arizona Senator's memorial services this weekend in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Roberta McCain would not attend the memorial services in Arizona, but would attend ceremonies in Washington and at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Roberta McCain lives in the D.C. area and is reportedly "doing well."
The D.C. services include a formal ceremony at the U.S. Capitol rotunda, where McCain will lie in state, reports CNN. On the following day, a memorial service will be held at the National Cathedral, where former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will speak. On Sunday, McCain will be buried during a private service at the U.S. Naval Academy.
A McCain family friend told PEOPLE that Roberta McCain is a "very strong" and "spunky" woman.
"She is all there, mentally, and is still going strong at 106," the friend said. "She outlived her 81-year-old son. That tells you a lot. But it's a tough blow to bury your child."
Roberta McCain was often by her son's side during the 2008 presidential campaign, despite her advanced age. She even did joint interviews with her son. Her identical twin sister, Rowena Fay Wright Willis, also reached an advanced age, dying at 99 in August 2011. In her 90s, Roberta McCain even traveled to Europe.
"Do you want me to sit around and play bridge every day? Or discuss my last knee replacement? Or pass around pictures of my grandchildren? Well, that isn't my choice of a way to live," Roberta McCain told CBS News in 2008. "I love to. That's one reason I live in Washington is art museums are open seven days a week, and they're all free, and you can't say that about another city in the world."
"Her vivaciousness is a force of nature," McCain wrote in his final book, The Restless Wave. "Even now, after a stroke has slowed her down, when her brisk pace is a memory and speaking can be a chore ... there's still a spark in her, a brightness in her eyes that would light up the world if she could resume her peripatetic life. I am my mother's son. I always have been."
McCain died on Saturday at age 81, more than a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"The disease that took John's life – that took our friend Ted Kennedy's life – that took my son Beau's life – is brutal, relentless, unforgiving," former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau Biden died of the same disease, said during a Phoenix memorial service Thursday. "It takes so much from those we love – and from the families who love them – that in order to survive we have to remember how they lived – not how they died."
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