Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench have kept their annual Thanksgiving tradition going for the last six years since their unexpected union in 2016. The friends first met after Dench mistakenly invited Hinton over for dinner through a text meant for her 24-year-old grandson. The message went through to Hinton on accident as her grandson had changed his number.
Initially, the two were surprised.
“The text said, ‘Thanksgiving at my house’ and it was from a grandma, but I was like, ‘When did my grandma learn to text!?’ ” a 17-year-old Hinton told PEOPLE back in November 2016. “So I asked her for a picture and it definitely was not my grandma.”
After the big mix-up, Hinton jokingly texted Dench, “Can I still get a plate tho?” to which she replied, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do…feed everyone.”
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Hinton, now, 22, is gearing up to meet Dench for another amazing Thanksgiving feast. “We are all set for year 6!” he tweeted on Nov. 14 along with a screenshot of her invitation for dinner. His girlfriend, Mikaela, and his family will be joining once again this year.
However, several days later, Hinton posted a heartbreaking announcement that Lonnie had passed away due to complications from COVID.
“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!” he said of social media’s loving embrace for the family during their hardship.
Hinton previously told PEOPLE that he thought Dench’s kind Thanksgiving gesture was “was so unexpected, but she was just so sweet about it.”
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