This week, Leena Ali and Dawn Burke were total strangers – but an accidental text message ended up bringing them together at a woman’s funeral.
It’s all because Leena Ali is a Brock University student who received a text from an unknown number saying: “Hey… is this Quinten?”
As a self-admitted prankster, Ali said yes.
On the other end of the line, Dawn Burke continued to text who she thought was her nephew. She invited Quinten to the “celebration of life” for her late aunt, Debbie Celar, and sent him the address for the funeral.
Upon receiving the texts, Ali dropped the act and admitted that she was not Quinten. She did, however, ask if she could still come to the funeral. Since Ali is Sudanese, she had never heard of a “celebration of life” and she was curious as to what it would entail. She even offered to bring something for the event – and Burke said yes.
“When I found out that it wasn’t Quentin, I just thought ‘I’ve gotta go with this, because my aunt Debbie would,’” Burke told The Star. “Aunt Deb would invite these people, whoever they are, into her home. That’s just who she was.”
True to her word, Ali showed up to the funeral with a food dish in hand – and despite the initial awkwardness of the family trying to figure out her connection to Aunt Debbie, their confusion soon turned to delight.
Burke realized Ali’s identity after she saw the bowl of fruit in the youngster’s hands – “and [then] she freaked out and got all excited,” says Ali.
Throughout the celebration, Ali talked to friends and family members of the late Aunt Debbie. All of shared stories, jokes, and photos with their new acquaintance; and many of them even said that Ali reminded them of Debbie, all while they cried tears of joy.
So while Ali may have arrived as a stranger, her surprise appearance made a much bigger impact on the grieving family than could have expected.
“My family hasn’t stopped talking about it,” said Burke. “Things happen for a reason and at such a sad time in our life (Ali’s visit) made it the brightest.”
Surprise Your Friends With This Sweet Story And Share To Social Media – Photo by Leena Ali