Wrong Number Leads to 20-Year Friendship Between Florida Woman and Rhode Island Man
More than 20 years ago, Gladys Hankerson was trying to get in touch with her sister in Maryland when she dialed the wrong phone number. Instead, she heard a man’s voice answer the phone.
The man was Mike Moffitt, a now-46-year-old man from Rhode Island – he explained that he was raised to always answer the phone. “At first, it was just like her saying, ‘Oh I’m sorry!’ and she’s really Southern, very hospitable, polite, very sweet, she’s like, ‘I’m so sorry, child!’ and then she hangs up real quick,” Moffitt told TODAY.
Hankerson, now 80, accidentally called Moffitt several times before they finally struck up a conversation. “Finally, I just grabbed it and said, ‘Wait wait wait, before you go, who are you, where are you from, what are you trying to do?’” described Moffitt. “And we started talking.”
At first, Moffitt thought the repeat calls were accidental. However, the mother of 10 continued to call over the next few weeks and finally disclosed that her son had passed away. “He said, ‘I’m so sorry,’ and he talked real nice to me and I talked real nice to him,” said Hankerson, revealing that “after that I had his phone number and I put it down on paper and I always called him.”
Hankerson was lonely and enjoyed the companionship she felt when talking to Moffitt. “During that time I was downhearted, and he felt my sympathy and everything and lifted me up,” she said.
This sparked a more than 20-year friendship between the two. They call each other every few weeks, and the pair finally met in person for the first time during Thanksgiving while Moffitt was vacationing in Florida with his wife and three children.
He described the miraculous moment on Facebook writing, “Didn’t tell her I was coming and her daughter walked me through the door. I announced, ‘I’m Mike from Rhode Island’ and the first words out of her mouth where ‘I’m blessed!!’”
“Oh it was such a great day, that was the happiest Thanksgiving there was, that made my day,” gushed Hankerson. “I wish more people could be like that, you know? That would be so nice, the world would be better too, people would be better.”
Moffitt shared a photo of the meeting on Facebook, adding that “there are incredible people in this world that are a wrong number phone call away.”
Image source: Facebook / Mike Moffitt