Thanksgiving tradition started with misguided text lives on for seventh year

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Just two days before Thanksgiving, Jamal Hinton told fans what they wanted to hear: “To answer all your questions, yes Thanksgiving Year 7 is planned! See you guys on Thursday!” he posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Fans have been eagerly waiting for Hinton to confirm his plans for an annual Thanksgiving meal with Wanda Dench – a 65-year-old grandmother who accidentally texted him six years ago inviting him to Thanksgiving.

As people fear Twitter’s fate amid Elon Musk’s recent takeover and ensuing turmoil, some users have expressed fear that they’ll miss Hinton and Dench’s long-awaited selfie, which the unlikely pair post on social media every year.

“I hope Twitter survives at least until next week so we can get our annual update from them,” one fan said. written Friday.

“Can Twitter hold on until Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench share their annual Thanksgiving photo? another tweeted November 12. “It’s only a few days away.”

Although their selfie has yet to be released, it’s clear the touching Thanksgiving tradition will continue for a seventh year in a row – and the internet is thrilled.

“It’s a Thanksgiving staple now like yams and mac and cheese,” someone tweeted after Hinton confirmed their plans.

The story began in November 2016, when Dench accidentally texted Hinton, thinking it was his grandson. She invited him to Thanksgiving.

When Hinton, then 17, received the message from an unknown number, he asked who it was. Dench replied, “Your grandmother.”

“Grandma? Can I have a picture? Hinton replied He got a selfie from Dench, which he had never seen before.

Hinton replied, “You’re not my grandma,” with a laughing emoji, then jokingly asked, “Can I still have a plate?”

Dench replied fervently, “Of course you can. That’s what [grandmas] do… feed everybody.

Hinton took her on the invitation, and so began an ongoing tradition – and an enduring friendship. Every year since the text confusion, Hinton has attended Dench’s Thanksgiving meal at her home in Mesa, Arizona, a 25-minute drive from her home in Phoenix.

After nearly a decade of Thanksgiving holidays with their respective families, people still haven’t stopped swooning over Hinton and Dench’s heartwarming bond. Year after year, dedicated fans eagerly count their annual selfie.

They supported each other through hardships, including the sudden death of Dench’s husband of 42 years, Lonnie Dench, who also developed a close relationship with Hinton and was an active participant in their Thanksgiving tradition. He died of complications from covid-19 in April 2020.

Before their first Thanksgiving meal without Lonnie Dench, Hinton tweeted“Thanksgiving won’t be the same but we’ll make the most of it.”

“I don’t have my beloved Lonnie with me, but I will be with a family that I love very much,” Dench repeated. in a tweetsharing a photo of his family, along with Hinton and his girlfriend, Mikaela.

In September, Dench got her first tattoo to commemorate her husband and parents, and, of course, Hinton accompanied her for the appointment.

“I have three shooting stars. Each represents my guardian angels in heaven – my husband who represents integrity, my mother who was brave, and my father who was about unconditional love,” Dench tweeted later.

Hinton and Dench’s feel-good friendship is set to get a next Netflix movie called “The Thanksgiving Text”. Hinton announced the partnership last December, although few details – including the release date – have been made public.

“We are thrilled to share our story with the world,” Dench and Hinton said in a joint statement. “We hope this inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they normally wouldn’t.”

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