A Grandma and the Teen She Mistakenly Invited to Thanksgiving Dinner Reunite for the Seventh Year in a Row

year ago

Most of us think that sending a text to the wrong number can only result in an uncomfortable situation. However, sometimes the exact opposite happens. Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton’s friendship started thanks to a texting mistake years ago and is still going strong. They are celebrating their seventh Thanksgiving together this year.

The duo first met in 2016 when Wanda sent her grandson a text inviting him over for Thanksgiving dinner. However, it didn’t reach the intended recipient because her grandson had changed his phone number. Instead, Jamal, 17 at that time, got her message. The confused teenager asked the woman to send him a selfie to prove that she was not his grandma, which she gladly did.

Despite confirming that they didn’t know each other, Jamal asked Wanda if he could still join her and her family for Thanksgiving dinner, and she agreed. He then shared a screenshot of their conversation on Instagram, and the story instantly went viral. “She is a lovely lady,” Jamal said after meeting Wanda for the first time. “She told me she’s used to having a lot of people over. I just got a vibe from her that made me feel at home.”

Their bond grew stronger over the years, and Wanda could rely on Jamal and his girlfriend, Mikaela, for support when her husband passed away last year. She says that Jamal is her ’’heart for life," adding that he has changed her outlook on friendships and age gaps. ’’He’s literally changed my life and my point of view on young generations about being open to friendships when you think you have nothing in common with somebody," Dench says.

Aside from their traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Wanda and Jamal are in constant contact throughout the year. “It’s amazing to have her as a friend and as my family. The cameras and the fame can stop tomorrow, and nothing is changing between us,” Jamal says.

This September, Jamal accompanied Wanda to get her first tattoo. “I got 3 shooting stars. Each one represents my guardian angels in heaven — my husband who stands for integrity, my mother who was courageous, and my father who was about unconditional love,” she explained. Jamal added he had a great time keeping her company. With this year’s Thanksgiving update, Jamal shared the news that he and Wanda are starting a business venture together.

And if you thought that their unlikely friendship would make for a good movie, you are right. Last year, Netflix shared the exciting news that they are planning to turn Jamal and Wanda’s story into a film — and we can hardly wait to see the on-screen version of this sweet and surprising friendship.

If you know any other stories about unlikely but long-lasting friendships, share them with us in the comments.


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