Back in 2016, the story of a grandmother accidentally sending a text to the wrong number inviting a person she didn't know to Thanksgiving dinner charmed the internet. Since then, Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton have celebrated the holiday together every year. This year, the pair is honoring Wanda's late husband Lonnie after he passed away from COVID-19.
Four years ago, Wanda sent a text a number she thought belonged to her grandchild telling them the plans for Thanksgiving that year. The text accidentally went to Jamal instead, and when he asked if he could still get a plate for the holiday, Wanda responded, "Of course you can. That's what grandma's do...feed every one." The interaction went viral on Twitter, and the internet has delighted in seeing Jamal and Wanda spending Thanksgiving together ever since.
how it started how it’s going pic.twitter.com/qQkWqNWMzs
— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) October 9, 2020
In an interview with AZ Family earlier this year, Wanda explained that she and Lonnie, her husband of 41 years, both experienced COVID-19 symptoms in late March. As she recovered, Lonnie's condition got worse and he eventually passed away. After the news reached the internet, "Lonnie" and "RIP Lonnie" trended on Twitter.
Jamal sent her a care package following Lonnie's passing that included a video made with clips from fans on Twitter sharing their condolences. Back in October, Jamal posted a photo on Twitter that juxtaposed the initial accidental text from Wanda and photos of him with Wanda and Lonnie through the years. "Thanksgiving isn’t going to be the same anymore but we will make the best of it," he wrote on Twitter.
In a more recent interview with the same outlet, Wanda and Jamal said they planned to celebrate together again this year and will save a seat at the table to honor Lonnie. "I didn't want to miss Thanksgiving with Jamal," Wanda explained: "This year is definitely different than all the years in the past."
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