This Rocks: Grandma Has 4th Thanksgiving With a Guy She Accidentally Thought Was Her Grandson

Thanksgiving traditions are what we make of them.

Originally Published: 
thanskgiving strangers
Credit: Twitter / @kingjamal08

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of making a mistake and then overthinking that moment at night when we’re struggling to sleep. Maybe you yelled “hello” to someone you thought you knew and was met with a confused look. Or you said, “you too” to the barista when they said, “enjoy your coffee.” These moments happen to everyone, and when one grandma accidentally texted a random person 4 years ago, she still relives that moment, but it’s so much better than anxiety-reduced sleep.

Four years ago, Wanda Dench was trying to text her grandson to invite him to Thanksgiving, but she had the number wrong and unknowingly texted Jamal Hinton, a stranger she had never met. Hinton was a high school senior at the time, and he replied to that wrong text asking for a photo of the sender to confirm it was his grandma. She obliged, and the Dench sent the photo, confirming that she wasn’t his grandma, but it didn’t end there.

Hinton replied, “[You’re] not my grandma,” adding a laughing emoji, and included a selfie and asked if he could come by for dinner anyway.

Dench replied, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.” This exchange was shared on Twitter, and it went viral because it’s so feel-good it almost hurts. “It gives me faith, a lot, in humanity because so many people have been kind,” Dench said to NBC years ago. The two seemed to really form a strong bond and became anything but strangers.

“What we all need to do is love, spread kindness and break bread together,” an email from Hinton to Dench read. “You remind me of my mother — she was a beautiful soul.”

But the feel-good didn’t end there. It turns out that even though that was four years ago, the two still get together every year at Thanksgiving.

“[Wanda] is a really good person,” Hinton said to Good Morning America this week. “I really enjoy the time I spend with her.”

And this is what Thanksgiving is all about,

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