Bonded by a half-century friendship, a live-in nanny becomes family
In south China’s Hunan Province, the touching story of two old women who have lived together for 55 years has amazed Chinese readers.
Wang Xiuying, now 101-years-old, has known Sun Jinxiu for longer than a half-century. Their relationship began when Wang became a live-in nanny at Sun's home in 1963. And after the children grew up, Wang stayed on as a practical member of the family for the last 38 years.
Sun, who is 20 years younger than Wang, lost her husband when she was young and, for a single mother like her, it was a impossible to continue a demanding career and be a parent to three little daughters at the same time. However, Wang made it possible after becoming part of the family.
Wang took care of Sun’s children as if she were a relative. The children regarded her as their grandma and bonded with her closely. “I cannot imagine their lives without Mother Wang,“ Sun told People’s Daily.
In 1980, Sun remarried and the girls were all grown up. Wang was in her sixties and her career as a nanny had ended. Someone suggested that Wang should be pensioned off, but Sun didn’t allow it. Taking into consideration that Wang had no family, Sun decided to let her stay at the family home. “She helped me when I was helpless, I had to pay her back,” said Sun.
Their friendship has helped them both take care of each other. Wang moved into the room with the best daylight and Sun started cooking for Wang and took her to her regular physical examinations. If Wang was sick in bed, the whole family would take care of her too.
Year by year, as Sun started to enter old age herself, she couldn’t afford to pay for Wang’s daily life, so she hired a nanny for Wang. Sun’s daughter sends fruit to the senior every week and bought a Mahjong game machine for her to play.
“The story of the two elderly people is on every neighbor’s tongue. The value of a family lies in mutual help,” said a member of staff at the community service department.