Two former strangers will share their fourth Thanksgiving feast together after an inadvertent text message brought them together in 2016, ABC News reports.
The turkey day tradition began when Wanda Dench, now 62, tried to text her grandson to invite him over for the holiday.
Instead, Dench accidentally texted Jamal Hinton, a Black high school senior at the time. Hinton, who was suspicious because he knew his grandmother wasn’t into texting, replied.
Time notes, he messaged the number back and asked for a photo to confirm if the woman was his grandmother. What he received back was a picture of Dench, a white woman with blonde hair and glasses.
“[You’re] not my grandma,” the 20-year-old replied with a laughing emoji.
Hinton sent back a selfie to confirm that he was not her grandson but asked if he could come over anyway. Dench welcomed him with open arms.
“Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone,” she said.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 15, 2016
Since then, Hinton has posted a photo of himself with Dench every Thanksgiving. In 2018, he filmed a video to document the holiday dinner.
The two are now switching things up for 2019 and will eat with Hinton’s girlfriend's family.
2016, 2017...... 2018 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0ZNA54uGAS— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 23, 2018
“[Wanda] is a really good person,” Hinton told Good Morning America this week. “I enjoy the time I spend with her.”
In Hinton’s 2018 documentary, Dench said she grew up in a military family. Her father was in the Navy and her husband was in the Army.
“We moved around a lot so I was always going to new places. And strangers were not strangers to me,” she said. “Family is more than blood. It’s the people you want to be with.”In an interview with the New York Post, Hinton said he sees Dench once every two months. In October, they went to a pumpkin patch together with Dench's husband and Hinton's girlfriend.