I awoke this morning remembering my trip to Florence in September, 2001.
Mrs. Mac and I were wrapping-up our assignments in London, expecting to fly back to New York in mid-September, so we took a five day trip to Milan and Florence as a farewell to Europe.
All of my life, my mother had made such a big deal of Michelangelo's David that we had originally planned for her to come to London so the three of us could go to Florence and see David. Sadly, my mother died on the Ides of March 2001, and left this world not seeing the only statue she ever wanted to view.
The only thing higher on her list had been seeing the Grand Canyon, which she did. Throughout my childhood, my mother would play a record of "Grand Canyon Suite" and I can still hear the lazy, sun-drenched melodies on the tiny record player, complete with the scratchiness that makes vinyl so much better than CDs. For her fiftieth birthday, we sent her off to the Grand Canyon for a week-long tour. She came home with all the perfect tourist items: cowboy boots and pictures of herself shooting the rapids, and trinkets, and a sunburn. She had a wonderful time and it made me very happy to see her so happy.
So it is with a certain amount of melancholy that I recall my trip to Florence without her. I saw David without her. I stood in the gallery and wept quietly thinking of how it might have been different if my mother was standing with me.
David is amazing. Florence is amazing. I recommend seeing both. The original statue of David lives in Florence at the Galleria dell'Accademia and a copy is in Piazza Signoria, and can be viewed 24-hours a day.
I am glad my mother loved Michelangelo's David, because it prompted my trip to Florence. If your mother asks to see something, take her to see it before you can not.
A virtual tour of David