Alex O'Brien


Thu, 26 Feb, 2015

A community adopts a 90-year-old woman with no family

A community adopts a 90-year-old woman with no family

Su Guiying, a 90-year-old widow from China whose 17 children have all sadly passed away, has been adopted by her community. 

After marrying young, at 17, sadly Guiying’s husband left her, and on top of that her first two children also died young. Her next nine children from her second marriage also passed away at birth or soon after. Her oldest child, which was from her third marriage, lived until the age of three. 

“It broke my heart. I lost all the children and then my third husband died,” she said.

The three-time widow still didn’t stop trying to get a family; she adopted a two-year-old girl. But when the daughter was old enough, she discovered her biological parents were wealthy and left her adoptive mother behind. Now 90, Guiying spent the past 40 years living alone, and was preparing for the end of her life.

That sad existence then took a beautiful turn after she wrote a note to her local newspaper. “I managed to save up enough money for a coffin and gravestone, and I only spoke to the paper because I wondered if they might be able to help me to find somebody to mourn at my grave.”

Her humble plea received an astounding response as it touched dozens of people who wanted to do something special for Guiying before she passed away.

For the first time in many years, the widow didn’t celebrate the Chinese New Year alone. Well-wishers filled her home, bringing food, gifts, and more.

One young man, Wang Wen, 25, even put up a tent in her loft and promised to spend the entire New Year with her.

Guiying was of course elated and cried of happiness. “I wasn't expecting anyone to care or to turn up like this.”

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