Most of us have probably received an accidental text message from a stranger, and moved on from it without a second thought.
But what if that person was one of your best friends in waiting and you just didn’t know it yet?
A grandmother, 63, and a 21-year-old man are about to celebrate their seventh Thanksgiving together after a beautiful twist of fate brought them together.
Their story has brought them viral fame, with a Netflix film about them now in development – not to mention jokes about matching tattoos.
The heartwarming tale begins with Wanda Dench sending a text by mistake to the then 17-year-old Jamal Hinton, telling him Thanksgiving dinner was at her house on November 24 at 3pm.
When the teenager responded asking who had sent him the message, she replied ‘your grandma’.
It was only when they exchanged selfies, that Wanda realised it was definitely not her grandson, who the message was intended for.
Jamal cheekily told her: ‘You’re not my grandma, but can I still get a plate tho?’
‘Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do…feed everyone’, she replied, along with a piece of cake emoji.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl
— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 15, 2016
Jamal and Wanda are accidental friends, and have celebrated Thanksgiving together with their partners (Picture: @jamalhinton12)
Since their first meal together in Mesa, Arizona, hundreds of people have followed their friendship online.
‘I told her the cameras and the fame, everything could stop tomorrow, and nothing’s changing between us’, Jamal said, speaking to Today.
‘Absolutely’, Dench added. ‘He’s in my heart for life.’
Over the years, the pair have met up along with Wanda’s husband Lonnie, and Jamal’s girlfriend Mikaela.
They even managed to come together for a scaled-down celebration during the Covid pandemic in 2020.
This year had a shadow over it, however, as Lonnie died in the spring of that year due to Covid complications.
Jamal made sure to be there for his friend during the tragedy, dropping off food and gifts for her.
The pair make sure to keep in touch throughout the year – with Jamal even putting Wanda on a billboard when he started a new business, and being there when she got her first tattoo.
‘I’ve always told her whatever I’m doing, she’s a part of, no matter what it is’, he said. ‘Matching tattoos next.’
Thanksgiving in 2020 was missing Lonnie, who died from Covid complications (Picture: @jamalhinton12)
While the pair are now spending their seventh Thanksgiving together, the event in 2023 will be trickier.
Wanda is retiring and moving a few hours away from Jamal – but they say they are already planning how to make it work.
The grandma feels ‘fate stepped in’ when she sent that accidental text
‘Jamal taught me that age made absolutely no difference’, she said.