Thanksgiving Tradition Begins With Text Mistaken By Grandma’s Life
What started as a text message to the wrong number led to years of friendship and Thanksgiving meals together for Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, a holiday tradition born of a happy mistake spread every year since then.
In 2016, Dench sent a text to a phone number she believed belonged to her nephew to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner at her home in Mesa, Arizona. As it turned out, she had accidentally texted Hinton, a complete stranger at the time.
Hinton asked who the number was, and when Dench sent him a picture of her, he replied, “You’re not my grandma. Can I still get one?”
“Of course. That’s what grandmothers do…feed people,” Dench replied.
Since that text incorporation, Hinton has received invitations to celebrate the holiday with the Dench family every year.
After he interactively posted their text on Twitter in 2016, the touching story went viral, and on Sunday he confirm via social network with which the duo shared Thanksgiving again.
“We are all gearing up for our 6th year,” Hinton tweeted.
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“For him to continue the relationship, I was just really surprised,” Dench said Republic of Arizona, part of the USA TODAY Network, in 2017. “We are extended family and above all friends.”
Last year, the families spent their first vacation without Dench’s husband, Lonnie, people who die in 2020 after contracting COVID-19. In memory of Lonnie, Hinton, Dench and her family held a photo session of him while they continued their long tradition.
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Hinton said to Time that each year, Thanksgiving dinner is a time to learn about each other’s lives and events. He says they rarely watch TV and instead spend hours talking and laughing.
“Time flies. We didn’t even realize how long we were there. They were really good company,” Hinton told Time, describing their dinner together.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda