What started with an incorrect phone number became a friendship that has lasted 20 years.
According to WPBF, affiliated network of CNN in the US, it all started in the early 2000s, when Gladys Hankerson of Delray Beach, Florida, was trying to call her sister in Maryland.
Her sister’s area code was 410, but Hankerson ended up dialing 401. Mike Moffitt of Rhode Island answered the phone.
Hankerson apologized for dialing his number in error and called him immediately, but she kept calling him several times. “It kept happening that she accidentally dialed the wrong number, but at some point it changed and she just called to say hi,” Moffitti told CNN.
One day, Moffitt managed to stop her from getting off the phone so quickly and talking to her. “I was like, ‘Hey, if you’re going to keep calling then let’s have a chat,’” he said.
Moffitt worked at a call center at the time and said being on the phone didn’t bother him. he explained to CNN that talking to Hankerson was like a breath of fresh air compared to the other calls he usually took.
All of this came at a very difficult time in Hankerson’s life – she had been divorced and had just lost her child. “During that time, I was down and he (Mike) felt compassion and everything – he lifted me up,” Hankerson told the WPBF.
Around this same time, Moffitt lost his grandparents and Hankerson filled that void for him, just as he filled the void she felt.
After 20 years, their friendship is growing stronger. Moffitt said the two kept in touch, talking every few months, but had never met in person.
That was until Thanksgiving break last week, when Moffitt and his family were visiting Florida and decided to surprise Hankerson at his home in Delray Beach.
“We ended up meeting because a drawbridge was erected,” Moffitt said. “We waited 10 to 15 minutes on the bridge and finally decided to continue. That’s when I realized that
we were two miles from Gladys’ house.”
After picking up some flowers, Moffitt knocked on Hankerson’s door and was greeted with open arms.
“I walked in and said, ‘Gladys, it’s Mike from Rhode Island!’ and she said, ‘Oh my friend Mike! I’m blessed,’ and threw up her arms,” Moffitt said.
Hankerson toured her house with Moffitt, introduced him to the family, and the two chatted as they did on the phone.
After all this time, Moffitt looks like a member of the family, Hankerson told the WPBF. “I wish more people could be like that, you know,” she said. “That would be so nice. The world would be better too – people would be better.”
* Translated material. Read the original here.
Reference: CNN Brasil