When a Phoenix teen received a text from a woman claiming to be his grandma asking him to Thanksgiving dinner neither of these strangers realized what that miscommunication would lead to.
That was six years ago but today 20-year-old Jamal Hinton couldn’t be more grateful that grandmother Wanda Dench texted him accidentally.
The Arizona grandmother messaged him thinking it was her own grandson and invited him to Thanksgiving dinner.
“Thanksgiving dinner is at my house on Nov. 24 at 3.00pm. Let me know if you’re coming. Hope to see you all,” she wrote.
Jamal than asked who this was to which Wanda texted back “Your grandma.”
Jamal then asked for a picture and on seeing a lady with blonde hair and blue eyes he knew it wasn’t his grandma.
Still, the teenager wasn’t dismissive of the offer and decided to try and use the situation to his advantage, writing: “[You’re] not my grandma [laughing emoji] Can I still get a plate tho [sic]?”
Wanda responded: “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s [sic] do… feed everyone [cake emoji]”.
Hinton shared their initial text exchange on Twitter with the caption, “Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!!”
The tweet was liked over 127,000 times and retweeted nearly 44,000, and the two strangers met over Thanksgiving dinner – a tradition that has continued every year with Jamal traveling to Dench’s home in the neighboring city of Mesa, Arizona.
Now the two viral stars are getting ready for another Thanksgiving dinner together.
The now 21-year-old Jamal shared a screenshot of his conversation with Wanda, who said it would bring her ‘great joy’ if Jamal and his family would attend the celebration and ‘share good food and great conversation’ before signing off, ‘Your friend always, Wanda’.
Jamal happily agreed, writing on Twitter: “We are all set for year 6!”
This year’s celebration is even more important for Wanda whose husband, Lonnie Dench, passed away from complications caused by coronavirus in April 2020.
Jamal, who started bringing his girlfriend Mikaela along in 2018, says they all enjoy catching up on each other’s lives.
“We don’t watch TV or anything. We just sit at the table for a couple of hours and talk the whole time and tell stories and see how we’ve been,” he says, as per Time.
“Time kind of just flies, we don’t even realize how long we’ve been there. They’re really good company.”
I love how these two met and the relationship that has grown. Thanksgiving is such an important time for family but for those people who don’t have a support network it can cause even greater feelings of loneliness.
I hope this gathering continues for years to come and proves an inspiration to others.