Did Teen Spend Thanksgiving Again With “Accidental” Grandma?

Jamal Hinton Twitter

Thanksgiving is about coming together with loved ones to celebrate traditions. But the holiday is also about sharing your home and hearth to create new memories.

The concept of what this holiday truly means shines through in the sweet “accidental” text from a grandmother asking her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner. In 2016, Wanda Dench thought she was texting her grandson to ask him for Thanksgiving dinner.

Instead, Dench mistakenly sent the text to another teen, Jamal Hinton. Dench’s grandson recently changed his number and she texted Hinton instead. Although the strangers finally realized there was a mixup, Dench let Hinton know the invite was still on the table.

“Can I still get a plate tho?” Hinton asked. “Of course you can,” Dench said. “That’s what grandma’s do… feed everyone.” Hinton not only spent Thanksgiving 2016 with Dench but 2017 as well. What about this year?

The first meeting went viral

Hinton posted about Thanksgiving with Dench on Twitter. And the post went viral. Because the 17-year-old included Dench’s number on this post, Dench received an outpouring of love. “At first it was a slow trickle,” Dench’s daughter told AZCentral. “But then they came rushing in. I scrolled and scrolled and said to my mom: ‘You’ve got a lot of love. We’ve got to make this into something.’”

Hinton returned for Thanksgiving the following year

Dench and Hinton formed a bond following that initial Thanksgiving. They talk once a week and planned to spend Thanksgiving 2017 together again, USA Today reports. “For him to continue with the relationship, I’m just really pleasantly surprised,” Dench said. “We’re more of extended family and, best of all, friends.”

Hinton brought his girlfriend to the meal and said, “The world is becoming a better place than it used to be, I’m loving it. I love that you don’t have to know someone or know their background to be nice to them.” He and Dench decided to make Thanksgiving a “standing invitation” going forward.

The tradition continues in 2018

Hinton posted to Twitter he and Dench spent a third Thanksgiving together. The post included three pictures of Dench and Hinton over the last few years. And each year is listed along with a heart emoji. This year’s feast included members from both Hinton and Dench’s families. And both insist they never posted about it to gain notoriety but to simply share a positive story about two strangers who came together.

“Gaining a new grandma, I thought maybe I’d gain one getting married, but as a friend, it’s great,” Hinton said to AZCentral. Now that their families are forever linked, Dench has one hope for next year.  “Maybe I can invite you if we get our own place,” Hinton pondered. To which Dench emphatically answered, “Yes! I would like to retire from doing the dinner and pass it onto the younger generation and I’ll come and visit.”