(WFLA) — For the seventh time in a row, an Arizona grandmother and a man she mistakenly invited to Thanksgiving are celebrating the holiday together.
In 2016, Wanda Dench accidentally sent a text to then-17-year-old Jamal Hinton asking if he would be coming to thanksgiving. Thing is, Wanda wasn’t Jamal’s grandmother.
Even so, Jamal asked if he could “still get a plate tho” — to which Wanda responded, “You sure can, that’s what grandma’s do.”
This ignited a friendship that lasted through both happy times and heartbreak, especially when Wanda’s husband Lonnie Dench died of COVID-19 in 2020.
Jamal went as far as to raise awareness and support for Wanda as she dealt with her husband’s passing.
“We miss you Lonnie,” he tweeted on April 9, 2020, a week after Lonnie’s death.
Jamal even went with Wanda to get her a tattoo, her first one at the age of 65, on Sept. 8, 2022.
“I got three shooting stars,” Wanda wrote. “Each one represents my Guardian Angels in Heaven – my husband who stands for integrity, my mother who was courageous, and my father who was about unconditional Love.”
Tuesday, Jamal wrote on Instagram that he would once again be joining his longtime friend for the holiday.
“To answer all your questions, yes Thanksgiving year 7 is planned out!” he said. “See you guys Thursday!
Wanda told NBC News she thought fate brought her and Jamal together.
“He’s changed my life a lot, I know that,” she said.
Last year, Jamal announced that Netflix would be making a movie based on their lives, titled “The Thanksgiving Text.” According to IMBD, the movie is still in pre-production.