MESA, Arizona: A text message sent to a wrong number in 2016 has led to years of friendship between Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, along with many shared Thanksgiving dinners.
Dench, from Mesa, Arizona, sent a text to a number she believed to be her grandson’s to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner at her home in 2016, but instead she texted Hinton, a complete stranger then.
Hinton asked who contacted him and when Dench sent her photo, he replied, “You not my grandma. Can I still get a plate though?”
Dench replied, “Of course. That is what grandma’s do, feed everyone.”
Hinton, who has since been invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dench’s family every year, posted their texts on Twitter in 2016 and the story went viral.
On Sunday, he confirmed via social media he will again be sharing Thanksgiving with Dench.
“For him to continue with the relationship, I am just really pleasantly surprised. We are more of extended family and, best of all, friends,” as quoted by the USA Today.
Last year, the families spent their first holiday without Dench’s husband, Lonnie, who died from COVID-19 in 2020.
Every year, the Thanksgiving dinner was an opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives and events, Hinton told Time, noting they rarely watch TV, instead spending hours talking and laughing.
“Time kind of just flies. We do not even realize how long we have been there. They are really good company,” he added.