A Wrong Number Leads to Epic 20-Year Friendship Between Strangers

The unlikely friends finally met in person last week.

What began as a classic case of a misdialed phone number, has blossomed into a deep, decades-long friendship.

Gladys Hankerson first called Mike Moffitt more than 20 years ago. She was trying to reach her sister in Maryland, but dialed area code 401 instead of 410. Hankerson was surprised when a young man in Rhode Island answered.

"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, 46, recalled to Today.

Hankerson, now 80, continued to dial Moffitt and he kept answering. Eventually he learned that Hankerson was a mother of 10 from Delray Beach, Florida. She told him that her son had just died, and she was trying to reach her sister.

"He talked real nice to me and I talked real nice to him, and after that, I had his phone number and I put it down on paper and I always called him," Hankerson told WPBF. "During that time I was downhearted, and he felt my sympathy and lifted me up, he was real nice you know."

In the years that followed the two became close, filling each other in when things happened in their lives.

"It was at first her misdialing," Moffitt told Today. "Then I think she just started calling, not misdialing."

Last week, on the day before Thanksgiving, the pair finally met in person. Moffitt surprised his longtime friend while visiting Florida with his wife and three children.

"I walk in and I said, 'I'm Mike from Rhode Island,' and she just threw her hands up and said 'I'm blessed,'" Moffitt told WPBF. "Oh, it was such a great day, that was the happiest Thanksgiving there was, that made my day."

Later Moffitt shared a photo of him and Hankerson in a now-viral Facebook post (above) writing, "There are incredible people in this world that are a wrong number phone call away."

We're not crying, you are!

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