Most of the time, when you dial a wrong number, it is a very short conversation. There aren’t normally many follow-up calls or continued questions. However, when one woman was trying to reach her sister, she dialed a wrong number that resulted in a 20-year friendship.
Wrong Number Leads To Friendship
Gladys Hankerson was at her home in Delray Beach, Florida about 20-years ago when she picked up the phone to call her sister. Gladys was trying to dial a 410 area code but mistakenly dialed a 401 code instead. The wrong number she rang answered, with Mike Moffitt on the other end of the line.
Mike lives in Rhode Island and thought it was a normal wrong number call like he gets sometimes. However, it was anything but normal. After the first time, Gladys called Mike, she apologized quickly and hung up. But, the thing that caused Mike is that she kept calling back. Gladys continued to dial the wrong number of the area code and Mike answered every time.
“She just kept saying, ‘Oh, I’m sorry sweetheart, wrong number,’ and hanging up,” Moffitt recalled. “I kind of chuckled at it.”Washington Post
“She’s really Southern, very hospitable, polite, very sweet, she’s like, ‘I’m so sorry, child!’ and then she hangs up real quick.”TODAY
After a few more calls, Mike asked her who she was trying to reach. That’s when he found out Gladys was attempting to get a hold of her sister.
Mike started to realize that Gladys might not have been dialing as a ‘wrong number’ after a few more weeks passed.
“It was at first her misdialing,” Moffitt said. “Then I think she just started calling, not misdialing.”TODAY
“I was like, we might as well get to know each other,” Moffitt said. “I asked her where she was from, and we just started talking.”Washington Post
So, an unlikely friendship was born, all from a wrong number. Lasting over 20 years, the friendship between Mike and Gladys is one even their families are in awe of. Gladys says that getting to know Mike was a good part of her day.
“We talked about this, and we talked about that. We became friends from there.”Gladys – Washington Post
It wasn’t long before Mike realized how important their friendship was to both of them.
“She had her son call at one time to let me know that somebody close to her passed away. He was like, ‘My mom just wanted me to call and let you know,’” Moffit said. “All of a sudden [our relationship] became not like a superficial check-in call … I understood what it meant to her.”TODAY
Wrong Number Meeting for Mike and Gladys
Mike and his family planned a holiday trip around Thanksgiving to Florida. With everything packed, they went to visit college campuses for one of their daughters. Mike had an idea that everyone in the car agreed with. He wanted to surprise Gladys at her home. They weren’t too far from where she lived and thought it would be great to meet the kind woman who dialed a wrong number all those years ago.
The day before Thanksgiving, Mike stopped at Trader Joe’s and picked up a bouquet of flowers for Gladys. He didn’t phone ahead of time because he didn’t want to make her feel like she had to go out of her way for him.
“I didn’t want to be an imposition where she starts cleaning the house. I just decided I was going to take a chance and see how it goes.”Washington Post
Mike knocked on the door and Gladys answered.
“It’s Mike from Rhode Island,” he said when she opened the door and handed her the flowers. Gladys was shocked. “I never thought I would have seen him,” she said. “He made my day.”
They snapped a photo of the meeting and Mike posted it to his Facebook profile. The caption finished with “There are incredible people in this world that are a wrong number phone call away.“
Watch the video of this inspiring story below:
- “Wrong number sparks 20-year friendship between Florida woman, Rhode Island man.” TODAY. Caroline Radnofsky and Suzanne Ciechalski. December 1, 2021
- “She mistakenly called a stranger across the country 20 years ago. The two became friends — and finally just met in person.” Washington Post. Sydney Page. December 3, 2021
- Facebook. Mike Moffitt