A then 17 year old Tempe, Arizona teen, Jamal Hinton and a Mesa grandmother were brought together last year when the grandma, Wanda Dench, accidentally sent a text message to Hinton, inviting him to thanksgiving at her house.
Dench intended to send the Nov. 15, 2016, group text message to a few family members, inviting them over for Thanksgiving dinner. But one of her grandsons had changed his phone number six months earlier but forgot to mention it to her.
It instead wound up going to Hinton, then a 17-year-old high schooler.
The ensuing text message conversation was instant Internet gold.
Hinton attended thanksgiving at Dench’s house for thanksgiving last year after she insisted he honored the invitation.
They reunited again last week when she invited him again to her house for thanksgiving and cement a tradition.
“It was really nice having everybody here,” Dench told The Arizona Republic on Saturday. “We got to laugh about last year and reminisce about how it all blew up on our phone and how I had to change my number. We had a laugh and a good time.”
Over the year since that fateful text between strangers, Dench said they now talk about once a week. Hinton said he looks upon her as an adopted grandmother.
“The world is becoming a better place than it used to be,” Hinton said. “I’m loving it. I love that you don’t have to know someone or know their background to be nice to them.”
“He always has an open invite to our house for Thanksgiving,” Dench said. “I do believe there are no accidents in life.”
Hinton attended this year’s thanksgiving with his girlfriend, Mikaela Grubbs