Grandmother Wanda Dench and surrogate "grandson" Jamal Hinton are reuniting for their sixth straight Thanksgiving celebration after serendipity — and an accidental text message — brought them together in 2016.
What are the details?
Dench and Hinton spent their first Thanksgiving together in 2016 after Dench mistakenly sent a Thanksgiving invitation to then 17-year-old Hinton, believing the number belonged to her grandson.
Hinton told Dench that she sent the message to the wrong person, but jokingly asked if he could come along anyway.
"Of course you can," Dench responded at the time. "That's what grandmas do ... feed everyone!"
Dench and his girlfriend met with Hinton and her family to celebrate the annual feast, and a tradition was born that year.
According to a Sunday report from KNXV-TV, the tradition lives on.
Hinton tweeted Sunday, "We are all set for year 6!"
We are all set for year 6! pic.twitter.com/wEQioizWGd— Jamal Hinton (@Jamal Hinton) 1636921901
Missing this year will be Dench's husband, Lonnie, who died of COVID-19 complications in April 2020.
Following his death, Hinton tweeted a tribute to his surrogate grandfather.
"As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it," he tweeted. "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!"
Despite the sad news of her husband's passing, Dench and Hinton decided to reunite for Thanksgiving 2020 regardless of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and opted to hold an outdoor celebration outside of Dench's home.
"I can't even explain how much joy I had, having good food with my favorite company," she said at the time. "We laughed, we had a great time, we reminisced about the past. It was so good for all of us."
She continued, "At first it was sad. We had a photo of Lonnie at the table with a candle lit, and we were all shaky in the beginning but it lasted five minutes before we were back to ourselves. We just told jokes and stories and shared our memories of Lonnie, so it was amazing."
Valley pair that went viral for accidental Thanksgiving invite preparing for 6th celebration www.youtube.com