Mike Moffitt, a Rhode Island man, began receiving ‘wrong number’ calls from an elderly woman in Maryland two decades ago. Inadvertently, Gladys Hankerson phoned area code 401 rather than 410, which put her in touch with Mike.
After a few phone conversations, Mike said he requested her name and then they started an otherwise improbable friendship.
Gladys was in fact trying to reach her sister, but accidentally kept calling Mike’s number, who—instead of hanging up—sparked up a conversation with the stranger who lived 1,300 miles away. Who knows the odds of making friends with a misdialed phone number.
Gladys repeatedly contacted Mike’s phone number by mistake, according to Spotlight.
Elderly people can’t keep up with the pace of technological change. There is a noticeable divide between the younger and older generations when it comes to deal with technology.
Commenting incorrectly on a social media site, visiting a bad website, or sending an email to the wrong person. They’ve all been there before.
Mike told the media that Gladys apologized and hung up as soon as she realized her error. But the phone calls kept going later on.
Mike Moffitt answered the phone on the other end, “I was raised by my dad, you always answer your phone, you never know who it is.”
It kept happening to Mike a few times that day, he added. Then the following week, then the next month, and so on.
Mike kept hanging up Gladys’ phone calls as long as she kept trying until Mike wanted to know what was happening.
In Mike’s words, “Finally I just grabbed it and asked: “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,’ and we started talking.”
Gladys answered the news: “I told him, ‘I’m sorry, I was trying to call my sister,’ and he said, ‘This is Mike,’ and I said, ‘My son passed away,’ and he said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ and 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.”
A difficult point in her life had her reaching out to her sister, Gladys encountered a total stranger who instantly lifted her spirits. When she was going through a divorce and her kid’s death, Mike was there to answer the phone.
Since then, they’ve had sporadic phone calls.
For the better part of two decades, they traded phone calls back and forth. While not related and living on opposite sides of the country, they raised one other’s spirits by spending time talking on the phone.
An idea came to Mike, he decided to travel to Florida: “The reason we ended up meeting was that a drawbridge was up, we waited 10-15 minutes at a drawbridge, and eventually decided to keep going. That’s when I realized we were 2 miles away from Gladys’ house.”
Delray Beach, Florida, was a diversion on the way to the old woman’s house where they bought some flowers. After 20 years, they finally saw the friend they had on the other end of the phone line for the first time.
“Gladys, it’s Mike from Rhode Island!” Mike rang the doorbell and stated.
The reunion was a whirlwind of introductions and anecdotes, much like the ones they tell each other over the phone. After that, Mike became more than simply a friend, Gladys’ family member.