Below is an essay I wrote for “Women Rule,” a special series by POLITICO, Google and The Tory Burch Foundation.
Coffee, conversation and a bond that transcends age and time
By: Greta Van Susteren
What woman do I admire? Who inspires me? And inspires every time I see her?
Well … for starters, she is 101 years old (and to be more precise “and 1/2”). I first met her about seven years ago. Her son was running for president and I went to her apartment in Washington to interview her, the Mother of the Candidate.
I knocked … the door to her apartment opened … and inside was one of the most fascinating women I have ever met. She was warm and spirited and invited us in. Roberta McCain was expecting us.
At that first meeting, I interviewed her about her son — of course, since he was running for president! I suspect the interview questions were quite predictable. The interview itself was not that memorable.
She was … and is.
After the cameras turned off, and the talk about her son stopped, the crew left but I hung around a bit.
(WOMEN RULE VIDEO: A look at some of women stepping up and taking charge)
She and I talked for a moment, and she confessed to me that she had recently gotten a speeding ticket for going more than 100 mph. At the time, she was in her 90s. She justified the excessive speed by telling me it was on a straightaway out West and everyone does it. I asked her if her son knew about the ticket. She said no and that he would not be happy with her … especially since he was running for president. I promised not to tell.
After the election, we all went back to our normal lives.
But something about her stayed with me. I drove past her apartment daily on the way to work. Each time I thought, “I should stop in and see her. That would be a nice thing to do.” But I didn’t want to just knock on her door. I feared she might think I was a pest or maybe even a weirdo stalker.
I remembered when my mother was still living — and living with my husband and me — how much she appreciated talking to others besides family. When you get older, and you live with family, and you are not mobile but with a very agile mind, family can get dull. Plus, you can feel trapped.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of my essay on Politico