It was a moment decades in the making.
More than 20 years ago, Gladys Hankerson misdialed a number and was mistakenly connected to a man from Rhode Island. As the man recalls to WPBF, it wasn't the first time Hankerson accidentally dialed his number.
"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?'" Mike Moffitt, 46, recalled to the news station. "And we started talking."
Turns out, Hankerson was trying to dial a relative who lived in Maryland but kept dialing the 401 area code instead of 410. After Hankerson and Moffitt chatted for a bit, Hankerson shared that her son had died, and Moffitt tried to cheer her up.
"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, from Florida, told WPBF.
They continued to call each other over the years, offering updates when they could, Moffitt told USA Today. When Hankerson's husband died, her son called Moffitt to report the heartbreaking news.
In November, Moffitt was visiting Florida with his family when it occurred to him that he could finally see Hankerson in person. On Thanksgiving Eve, he surprised his longtime friend at her home.
"I said, 'Mike!' I froze," Hankerson told Today of the moment she saw Moffitt in person for the first time. "He made my day. Yes, yes. I hugged him, he hugged me and we took a picture."
Moffitt shared a picture of the duo to Facebook on Nov. 24 and detailed their unique friendship.
"We've talked every few months for the last 20 years in the most bizarre but normal way," he wrote. "Today we met. I brought her flowers for Thanksgiving and finally got to meet."
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"Didn't tell her I was coming and her daughter walked me through the door," he continued. "I announced, 'I'm Mike from Rhode Island!' and the first words out of her mouth [were] 'I'm blessed!!' There are incredible people in this world that are a wrong number phone call away."
Moffitt told USA Today that he hopes to continue to be a part of Hankerson's life, calling her "just a great person."