A 64-year-old woman is preparing to spend her sixth Thanksgiving with a former stranger after she accidentally invited him via text in 2016.
The world has had a lot of ups and downs over the last few years, but through all the good, bad and ugly one thing has remained constant: the friendship between Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton.
The pair were first introduced in 2016, when Arizona grandmother Wanda accidentally sent a text to Jamal under the impression it was to her own grandson.
Confused, Jamal, who was a teenager at the time, asked for a photograph to find out if the text had come from his own grandmother. When he received an image of a woman with blonde hair and glasses, he quickly realised that was not the case.
Still, the teenager wasn’t fazed by the blunder 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]’.
Screenshots of the conversation went viral after Jamal shared them on Twitter, and that year marked the first Thanksgiving the new friends spent together. They had so much fun that it has now become something of a tradition for a now-21-year-old Jamal to spend the holiday with the woman he didn’t know existed a few years earlier.
Not even the coronavirus outbreak was enough to keep the pair apart, and Jamal recently took to Twitter to confirm he was looking forward to Wanda’s Thanksgiving dinner for the sixth consecutive year.
The 21-year-old 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!’
The unexpected friendship has delighted thousands of people online, with one person describing Jamal and Wanda’s get-togethers as their ‘favourite Thanksgiving tradition’.
Sharing Jamal’s tweet, another person wrote: ‘this is one of my favorite [sic] things every single year’.
Sadly Wanda’s husband, Lonnie Dench, is no longer around to join in the celebrations after he passed away from complications caused by coronavirus in April 2020, but hopefully Jamal and Wanda will continue to keep each other company for a long time to come!
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