Woman texts wrong number, leading stranger to accept an invitation to a wake: 'I'll bring a fruit bowl'

Hope Schreiber
·Writer
Student Leena Ali arrived at a stranger’s wake with a fruit bowl in hand after a woman texted a wrong number. (Photo: Leena Ali via Twitter)
Student Leena Ali arrived at a stranger’s wake with a fruit bowl in hand after a woman texted a wrong number. (Photo: Leena Ali via Twitter)

Texts delivered to a wrong number are usually handled with a brief apology before quickly moving on, but for Dawn Burke, it resulted in a complete stranger showing up at her aunt’s wake — with a fruit bowl, no less.

A Canadian college student, Leena Ali, received a text from Burke that said, “Hey … is this Quentin?” Burke wanted to inform her nephew Quentin about the celebration of life being held for Burke’s late aunt Debbie Celar.

Perhaps hoping to get a few laughs, Ali said that she was Quentin. However, after Burke told her about the wake and shared the address, Ali ’fessed up to her ruse, but she asked if she could still come and celebrate “auntie Debbie’s” life. Burke replied, “Hahaaa, Ok.”

Ali texted back, “Okay! See you there, auntie Dawn” and “I’ll bring a fruit bowl.”

“Culturally, that’s what we do,” Ali, who is of Sudanese descent, told the Toronto Star. “If someone invites you somewhere or brings you somewhere, you should bring something.”

After attending her class in communication in popular culture and film, Ali and her friend Yasmin drove to Celar’s wake, where she was greeted by about 400 confused people.

She drove about 30mins to come meet us. It made my whole family’s day and we talked about that all weekend long!” Burke tweeted. “It warmed our hearts … and she came with a fruit bowl, to boot!”

“There [are] still some good people in the world,” she wrote.

“When I found out that it wasn’t Quentin, I just thought, I’ve gotta go with this, because my aunt Debbie would. Aunt Deb would invite these people, whoever they are, into her home. That’s just who she was,” Burke told the Toronto Star.

Ali spent the day talking to Celar’s family and husband. Celar was well known in her community, and her family, which includes 13 grandchildren and 50 immediate members, told Ali that she reminded them of their aunt.

Things happen for a reason, and at such a sad time in our life [Ali’s visit] made it the brightest,” Burke said.

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