Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench reunited for Thanksgiving, for a sixth year in 2021.
Jamal and Wanda first met in 2016, when she mistakenly wrote to him instead of contacting her nephew about Thanksgiving plans. Despite the mistake, Hinton jokingly invited himself over to her house. “Of course, you can,” Dench replied. “That’s what grannies do… feed everyone!
Since that first Thanksgiving dinner in 2016, there have been a lot of ups and downs for the group.
We are all set for year 6! 🦃 pic.twitter.com/wEQioizWGd
— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 14, 2021
Last year was the first year the group celebrated Thanksgiving without Dench’s husband Lonnie, who died of complications from COVID19. “Some of you may have already found out, Lonnie didn’t make it,” Hinton tweeted in April 2020.
As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it… he passed away Sunday morning😔 but Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that!🙏🏽❤️ https://t.co/tNvals0FMh
— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) April 9, 2020
“But it will be really different, this first Thanksgiving without him,” Dench told the New York Times. “My husband was so supportive and he was always telling me how proud he was for our friendship with Jamal.”
Because of the pandemic, and it’s risks, the two decided to celebrate the 2020 holidays a week earlier and even threw a smaller party than usual. But they put a photo of Lonnie on the table to keep their “family” whole.
“The first time I met her, I knew that she is a different person. Age is absolutely only a number,” Hinton stated of Dench, in line with The New York Times. “It would not matter really. You could be friends with who you want, you could be family with anyone you choose to.”