Jim: What kind of thing is this one supposed to be?
Laura: Haven't you noticed the single horn on its forehead?
Jim: A unicorn, huh?
Jim: Unicorns, aren't they extinct in the modern world?
Laura: I know!
Jim: Poor little fellow, he must feel sorta lonesome.
After viewing the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters in New York, I purchased a needlepoint canvas of the 'Unicorn in Captivity'. It hangs in my living room and reminds me of the year I worked on that piece. My father had been diagnosed with lung cancer and I travelled down to Florida a number of times: after his lung was removed; when we celebrated Thanksgiving two weeks after the holiday because he was home and recuperating, and then when it seemed that remission was a possibility and later on when my mother moved a bed into the small room with a large window facing the outside world.
Each time I went down I brought the needlepoint—for all the long waits. My father always wanted to see my progress. I slowed down and engaged in magical thinking. If I didn't complete the piece he'd live. The last time I visited he asked to see the unicorn. "I hope you'll finish this soon," he said. He died a week after I left and I finished the unicorn.