Grandma and Stranger Share 4th Thanksgiving After Accidental Text from 2016


grandma shares 4th thanksgiving with stranger

Many of us have received text messages intended for someone else. We reply with “wrong number” and don’t think much about it.

That’s what nearly happened to Jamal Hinton, 20, of Phoenix, Arizona when he opened up his phone to find a text from an unknown number: Thanksgiving dinner is at my house on Nov. 24 at 3:00. Let me know if you’re coming. Hope to see you all. Of course, that includes Amanda and Justin.

Jamal replied with: ‘Who is this?’ and got the response: ‘Your grandma.’
Jamal asked for a photo of his correspondent to check if it was his grandmother, and instead received a selfie of a woman he didn’t recognize sitting in her office. He sent back a selfie of himself sitting in a classroom, as he was a high school senior at the time, with the caption: You’re not my grandma.

For most people, that would have been the end of the story but Jamal followed up with: “Can I still get a plate tho?”

Not-his-grandma replied: Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do… feed everyone. [1]

Her name turned out to be Wanda Dench, and she is now 62. True to her word, Jamal showed up at the Thanksgiving celebration.

Me and Wanda actually were both thinking that Thanksgiving is all about being grateful, thankful and blessed,” Jamal said. “Can’t have Thanksgiving without [being together].”

The two have been celebrating Thanksgiving together ever since, for the past four years. This past year, Jamal’s family joined as well.

Her finally meeting my family felt great! Family is huge thing to me so for such a close friend to be able to finally join me and my family for dinner especially for Thanksgiving felt great,” Jamal said. “[Wanda] is a really good person. I really enjoy the time I spend with her.” [2]

In 2018, Jamal posted a YouTube video, documenting their holiday dinner in 2019 and a Q and A with Wanda in 2018, where she explained she grew up in the military since her father was in the navy. “I moved around a lot so strangers were not strangers to me.” On military bases, there were many people without their families who joined their holidays. “So opening up our doors to strangers was a normal thing for us,” she said with a smile.

Family is more than blood,” Wanda added. “It’s the people you want to be with.[3]

Tis the Season to be Kind  

As the end of the year approaches along with the holiday season, people tend to reflect on themselves. Many people look for ways to be kind this time of year, but kindness shouldn’t be reserved for the month of December. In fact, kind acts are beneficial to one’s health and wellbeing.

Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee and Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that found people who gave social support to others had lowered blood pressure. “Participants with a higher tendency to give social support reported receiving greater social support, greater self-efficacy and self-esteem, less depression and less stress.” [4]

Not only that, the brain elevates levels of dopamine in response to acts of kindness. Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” is produced when we bond with others, and it can reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system and helps a person feel positive and calm. [5]

20 Small Acts of Kindness

There are many ways to bring a little kindness into our lives. After all, when we help others, we are really helping ourselves. Besides, kindness has a rippling effect.

  1. Drop some coins into someone else’s parking meter.
  2. Send an anonymous gift.
  3. Write a hand-written thank you note.
  4. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
  5. Buy lemonade from kid’s stand.
  6. Stop and help someone replace their flat tire.
  7. Give a huge tip to servers when they least expect it.
  8. Hold the train or elevator door open for someone rushing to get in.
  9. Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  10. Have a “normal” conversation with a homeless person.
  11. Pick up some trash from the road.
  12. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  13. Compliment a colleague on their work.
  14. Give another driver your parking spot.
  15. Tell your family members how much you appreciate them.
  16. Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train/bus.
  17. Cut a neighbor’s hedge.
  18. Walk a friend’s dog.
  19. Give a busy mother a break by taking her kids to the park.
  20.  Smile; it’s contagious. [6]

Kindness is all about becoming aware of others, their needs, and being appreciative of the things they do. While we work on being other-centered, remember the importance of self-kindness. Most people tend to be hard on themselves — to their detriment. Sometimes a kind act can be something as simple as taking a well-needed break.

  1. Jamal Hinton. Twitter. November 15, 2016
  2. Nicole Pelletiere. Grandma who texted wrong teen for Thanksgiving shared 4th holiday with him November 27, 2019
  3. Jamal and Mikaela. Q and A with Wanda. November 23, 2018
  4. Rachel L.Piferi, Kathleen A. Lawler. Social support and ambulatory blood pressure: An examination of both receiving and giving November 2006
  5. Jacqueline Whitmore. Entrepreneur. 8 Effortless Ways to Make Kindness Part of Every Day. March 18, 2016
  6. Arvind Devalia. Lifehack. 29 Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness Every Day.

The post Grandma and Stranger Share 4th Thanksgiving After Accidental Text from 2016 appeared first on The Hearty Soul.


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