Grandma Accidentally Invites Stranger To Thanksgiving By Text, Six Years Later They Still Get Together

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Some see coincidences as complete random chances and some see it as the universe’s way of aligning its stars. Whether everything happens for a reason or is off to chance, the moment this grandma coincidentally texted a stranger by mistake ended up changing both their lives.

She accidentally invited a teen she had never met to Thanksgiving dinner, and the duo has decided to continue the tradition for the sixth year in a row.

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It All Started With One Text To A Wrong Number

text conversation beginning

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

This story actually started back in 2016 when news of a grandma who texted the wrong number went viral. You may remember the story of the teen who was brought to a random grandma together for the Thanksgiving holiday.

To refresh your memory, the tradition started when Wanda Dench, now sixty-four years old, thought she was texting her grandson to invite him to Thanksgiving. Instead, she actually texted Jamal Hinton, who was only 17 at the time.

Jamal Asked The Wrong Number for A Picture

grandma sends picture in text conversation

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamal was confused by the initial texts wondering how this could even be his grandma. So, he asked the number texting him to send a picture. Confused by the request, Wanda complied anyway having still no idea that she was texting a wrong number.

Upon seeing Wanda, Jamal replied “[You’re] not my grandma,” with a laughing emoji.

Jamal Accepted The Invite Anyway

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Once Jamal clarified that Wanda was not actually his grandma, he asked if he could stop by for dinner anyway, likely not expecting to actually be able to go. But Wanda surprised him when she welcomed him with open arms, explaining that  “that’s what grandmas do… feed everyone.”

Jamal was over the moon and shared the whole encounter on Twitter then with the caption: “grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!!” That’s when the story went viral and now six years later, it’s coming back to make the rounds as they reunite again.

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meal plates on table

Stefan Vladimirov / Unsplash

Stefan Vladimirov / Unsplash

The beloved national holiday is about more than just good turkey and a secret family recipe of mac and cheese. It’s a day about gratitude, shared with the ones we love most. Yet Wanda shows us that gratitude can be felt even towards strangers. Her random act of kindness has made not only Jamal feel loved and blessed from the day he met her but gave hope to the rest of the world that there is still good out there.

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Two Peas In A Pod

Jamal instantly got along with Wanda and her husband and created a bond that would not be broken over time. Even though Wanda had to change her number once it went viral and thousands messaged her every day about her story, she kept in touch with Jamal, asking him to make the drive every year to join her family for dinner.

This year, for the 6th time, it was no exception. “For everyone who thinks it’s just for the cameras and social media! We are so blessed to have Wanda and Lonnie in our lives and we all are so happy to know our story has touched so many people,” explains Jamal on Twitter.

“Family is More Than Blood”

Wanda got used to strangers from a young age. She explained in an interview that she grew up in the military with her father being in the Navy and her husband in the Army.

Wanda had to move a lot around to new places so she quickly got used to strangers. She explains: “Family is more than blood, it’s the people you want to be with.” That’s why when she first invited Jamal, she made sure that he didn’t go back to being a stranger after meeting once and made him family from that moment forward.

Tragedy Skips No One, Not Even The Good Ones

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Sadly Wanda’s story wasn’t all happy and her family got hit hard by the pandemic. Both she and her husband got sick with the virus, and even though she managed to survive, her husband’s life was taken by sickness.

Jamal’s heart broke by the news: “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 thank every single one of you guys for that!” Even this tragedy wouldn’t stop the tradition.

In Togetherness There Is Peace

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Jamalhinton12 / Twitter

Even the loss of her husband didn’t stop Wanda from inviting Jamal over once again. She knew it’s what her husband would have wanted.

7 Years Strong

Jamal and grandma by cheesecake factory

Thanksgiving definitely would be different that year but Wanda was glad that she kept the tradition alive. “I can’t even explain how much joy I had, having good food with my favorite company,” she said in an interview, “We laughed, we had a great time, we reminisced about the past. It was so good for all of us…we just told jokes and stories and shared our memories of Lonnie, so it was amazing.”

The Grandmother and the once a stranger she accidentally texted are set to spend their 7th Thanksgiving together this year! Jamal shared a photo standing beside Wanda Dench outside The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, proving the two are carrying on their viral tradition.

“To answer all your questions, yes Thanksgiving year 7 is planned out! See you guys Thursday!” he wrote with turkey and black heart emojis.

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives