The Internet viral “Thanksgiving nanny” served her turkey dinner earlier this year – and with her husband, who died of COVID-19, left from the table.
However, Wanda Dench has welcomed for a fourth year her accidental “nephew,” Jamal Hinton, the unknown young man who is now like a family thanks to his famous misfired text.
Dench gained fame in 2016, after she accidentally sent Hinton, then 17, an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner – with a text she had wanted to send to her nephew.
Realizing her mistake, Dench and her husband, Lonnie, told the teenager to come anyway – and she did, that year and every year since.
Dench and Hinton, now 21, recently made Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Mesa, Arizona, CBS reported.
They remembered Lonnie Dench and talked about their four-year friendship.
“It will be different, my first Thanksgiving without him,” Dench said he told the New York Times.
“My husband was always right behind me, telling me how proud he was of Jamal and me for what we did.”
This year, the couple placed a framed photo of Lonnie on the table and placed it on a plate by him to honor him during his annual tradition.
Hinton had tweeted in April that his adoptive parents were battling the coronavirus. He later he tweeted that Lonnie was gone away from the virus.
“As some of you may have known tonight Lonnie didn’t … he died Sunday morning,” Hinton had tweeted at the time.
“But Wanda told me all the love and support she received put a huge smile on her face so I thank all of you for that!”
Despite the loss and misfortune, Dench and Hinton have stated that they are happy to have each other.
“I’m glad we’re here, we’re together,” Hinton told The Times.
“I don’t know what I would do for the holidays this year, last year or years before if I didn’t have Wanda in my life, then I’m just grateful.”