Grandma And Complete Stranger Spend Fifth Thanksgiving Together After Accidental Text In 2016
Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton have spent every Thanksgiving together since 2016, when the 63-year-old accidentally texted a random teenager instead of her grandson, inviting him round for dinner.
Jamal asked if he could accept the invitation, even though he wasn’t the intended recipient, and the pair have since made it an annual tradition, becoming like family in the process.
This year’s celebrations, however, are a little more sombre, following the death of Wanda’s husband Lonnie, who passed away after the couple caught coronavirus earlier this year.
Jamal and Wanda decided to keep up with their tradition, and celebrate Thanksgiving in honour of Lonnie.
Both Wanda and Lonnie, who had been married for 41 years, began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 earlier this year. But, while Wanda’s health went on to improve, Lonnie’s condition sadly deteriorated, and he passed at the beginning of April.
Prior to his passing, Jamal took to social media, to ask his followers to send love and prayers to the couple, who had treated him like family ever since they met.
‘I am so sad to announce that Wanda and Lonnie both have COVID-19 and that Lonnie is currently in the hospital fighting both COVID and pneumonia,’ he wrote, adding, ‘please send words of love and encouragement their way.’
Wanda was forced to stay at home and isolate while her husband remained in hospital, as she also tested positive for the virus.
Speaking on a YouTube video update, Jamal said Wanda was ‘really scared’, adding, ‘I know Lonnie is really scared, but I’m told that they’re both strong and that they’re going to pull through this’.
Jamal later took to Twitter to confirm Lonnie’s passing, writing: ‘As some of you may have already found out tonight, Lonnie did not make it. He passed away Sunday morning, but Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face, so I want to thank every single one of you guys for that.’
Following his death, ‘RIP Lonnie’ began trending all over America on Twitter; something which Wanda said was ‘overwhelming.’
‘I did look up in heaven and say, ‘you did it honey, you got a lot of people interested in you,’’ she told KTVK’s Arizona’s Family in May.
Jamal had gathered a montage of people from all over the states sending Wanda love and support while she came to terms with the death of her husband.
While Thanksgiving will never quite be the same in the Dench household, the legacy of Lonnie’s kindness and generosity will never be forgotten.
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