The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to get caught up in the spin cycle and let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week, we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good!
This week’s Something Good is tradition, even during this challenging time.
You may remember the grandma who accidently sent a young black man an invitation to Thanksgiving, thinking she was inviting her grandson. Jamal Hinton was that 17 year-old man and Wanda Dench, the grandma, told him to come to dinner anyway when she realized her mistake.
That was in 2016 and Jamal was welcomed into the Dench home with open arms by Wanda and her husband Lonnie. Every year since, Jamal celebrated Thanksgiving with the Dench family. Eventually, he and his girlfriend Mikaela regularly visited with Wanda and Lonnie.
Sadly, Lonnie passed away earlier this year from Covid. Wanda and everyone who knew Lonnie was grief stricken at the loss. By all accounts, Lonnie was a kind man who gave hugs and lifted up all who came into his orbit. Wanda told CNN that Lonnie was her biggest cheerleader.
She also says Lonnie would be angry if she didn’t celebrate their cherished Thanksgiving tradition of dining with Jamal. So, the two families made it happen this year. They quarantined and celebrated early with a mini-Thanksgiving – the real grandson and Wanda’s daughter attended along with Jamal and Mikaela. A candle and picture of Lonnie sat at the head of the table.
At first, it was shaky, Jamal said. But then they all told stories about Lonnie and laughed, just like they would have if he were with them.
Thank you @wandadench for such an amazing celebration! You are such a blessing to this world. We miss you Lonnie💙 pic.twitter.com/7vOlaC4sfp— Jamal Hinton (@Jamalhinton12) November 26, 2020
Wanda and Lonnie hope that Lonnie’s story reminds every one to be careful during the pandemic. Wanda says, “Just have patience. I know it isn’t easy, and everyone is frustrated and just wants to get back to normal. But we need to have hope and always care about other people.”
This year has been anything but normal and to see Jamal and Wanda’s Thanksgiving tradition continue gives us hope that things can return to normal. And reminds us of how kind people can be to strangers.
Now it’s your turn… Tell me something good!