Norma Jean sat in her large comfy chair next to the fire. Her apartment was silent aside from the crackle of the burning logs and her kitten, Wilma. It's been years since Norma Jean had any visitors, let alone family members, which is why she considers Wilma to be her family now.
"Well.. tomorrow is Thanksgiving, Wilma. You suppose we should start the turkey?" Norma Jean asked herself more than the kitten as she shuffled to the kitchen. Norma Jean, being 73 years old doesn't really need a whole turkey, but she makes one anyways in hopes her grand kids and great grandkids come to visit. It's been 5 years since they have, but she still holds on for hope.
Wilma follows the old woman into the kitchen and watches as she prepares the turkey. "Mrrrow?"
"Oh Wilma.. I know. Don't worry, if they don't show I'll share with you. I can't possibly eat it all!" She chuckles to herself before sighing. "My dear Dale would have wanted the gizzard... Would you like it instead Wilma?"
"Moww!!" Wilma, though a cat, understands exactly what a gizzard was. It was her favorite part of the year. Wilma purred excitedly as she nuzzles Norma Jean's ankles.
"Oh! Careful Wilma! You almost tripped me!" Norma Jean. Heads to the stove, after turning on the oven she finds a pan for the gizzards. After heating them up just enough to not be cold, she puts them in Wilma's dish. As she watches the excited kitty chow down, she talks to herself.
"You'd think I'd give up on the family after 5 years of no visits, but you are my family Wilma. Part of my family tradition is to say what we're thankful for... Since you're just a cat I'm gonna assume that you're thankful for them gizzards"
"Yup. Well, I'm thankul for you, Wilma. It's been a lonely 5 years and you've made the last 2 of them barable. Thank you." Norma Jean wanders back to the fire place and looks at all the photographs on the mantle. All of her kids, grand kids, great grand kids.. they're all doing their own thing. She picks up the oldest picture frame. The one of her and her husband on their wedding day.
"Oh Dale... I miss you so much." She holds on to the picture frame and sits back in her chair. She looks for the remote to turn on the TV to watch some soap opera as she waits for her oven to preheat.
She doesn't know when she fell asleep, but she woke up to knocking on her door. She made her way to the door groggily before remembering what day it was. She hurridly shuffled to the door. "Wilma!! My family is here!" Norma Jean opened the door only to find nobody there. The heart break was visible in her eyes as she slowly closed the door. "Never mind, Wilma. It was just the wind"
She turned around and locked eyes with an old man. He was about her height with greying hair. He smiled kindly and held out his arms. Norma Jean fell into them sobbing. "Dale.. I've missed you so much! Why are you here?"
As she pulled back from the embrace he looked at her and calmly said, "it's time to go."
"Go? What do you mean? I have to make turkey... And Wilma! I can't leave her" Norma Jean let her tears fall freely as Dale picked up Wilma.
"Norma Jean, dear you don't need to make a turkey. Wilma is coming with us"
"Norma Jean, my love, it's time to go."
Norma Jean. Looked around her home. She saw fire damage, her body on her big chair, and Wilma's body by her feet. The smell of burnt turkey hung heavy in the air. As she walked out the door with her husband and her cat Norma Jean realized what happened to her when she fell asleep. She also realized that this was the best Thanksgiving she's had in 5 years.