A TEENAGER who was accidentally invited to a stranger's house for Thanksgiving is celebrating his sixth year with the family.
Wanda Dench went viral after sending a text message meant for her grandson to a wrong number, accidentally inviting then-teenager Jamal Hinton.
“You not my grandma. Can I still get a plate though?” Hinton, now 22, texted back.
Hinton formed a serendipitous friendship with Dench – spending every Thanksgiving with her family since the hilarious exchange.
The holiday tradition has been documented in newspaper headlines around the world.
Ahead of this year's festivities, Wanda posted a photograph of her and Jamal with the caption: "Looking forward to getting together with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Jamal said he’ll bring the pumpkin pie."
Now, marking their sixth Thanksgiving spent together, Jamal posted a new photograph of him, Wanda and his girlfriend Mikaela Grubbs.
"Today marks our 6th Thanksgiving together," Jamal write, with a yellow heart emoji.
Tragedy hit last year when Dench’s husband Lonnie contracted Covid-19 and died just days later.
Hinton revealed the news that the couple was fighting the coronavirus in a tweet on April 1.
"I am so sad to announce that Wanda and Lonnie both have COVID-19 and that Lonnie is currently in the hospital fighting both COVID and Pneumonia please send words of love and encouragement their way,” Hinton wrote.
Dench, in a statement after Lonnie’s death, said: "He had the truest heart of love, like no other,”.
"He did so many acts of kindness that no one ever heard about. He was my hero. And I'm a better person because of him,” she continued.
This year to mark the loss of Lonnie, the trio posed with a framed photograph of him. They were also holding a drawing, where Lonnie was posed as an angel.
After all these years, Wanda now considers Jamal her "honorary grandson."
"I'm loving it. I love that you don't have to know someone to know their background to be nice to them," Dench said in the second year of their tradition.
Hinton sees Dench about every two months now – and the two have often gone on double dates with Lonnie and Hinton’s girlfriend Mikaela.
“I don’t know what I would be doing for the holidays this year, last year or years before if I didn’t have Wanda in my life, so I’m just grateful,” Hinton told The Times.
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