The story of a one-armed widow from Anhui province who works three jobs each day in order to care for her two daughters after her husband was killed in a car accident has recently received widespread coverage on Chinese social media and in local newspapers.
Fang Wenying’s life was turned upside down after her husband died in the accident three years ago. In order to compensate for the loss of her husband’s income she has taken on three different jobs with Anqing city’s sanitation department, working for up to 16 hours per day.
According to Sina News, Fang has got up at 3:30 a.m. and returned home after 10:30 p.m each day for the past three years, carrying out vigorous manual labour despite only having one arm.
In order to relieve the burden on Fang, her 20-year-old daughter named Dandan decided to drop out of high school and work at a bakery to help support their family. Fang told reporters that she makes 2,800 yuan ($435) per month, with her daughter bringing in an additional 1,000 yuan ($155).
Much to Fang’s delight, her eldest daughter, 21-year-old Tingting, is currently in her first year of study at Anhui Foreign Language University. She admits, however, that the annual tuition of 10,000 yuan ($1550) places a great strain on her.
Fang originally lost her left arm following a confrontation with her husband in 2003. Due to confusion brought on by schizophrenia, he tried to attack her daughter with a knife. Fang intervened in order to protect her and lost her arm.
“During the darkest times I was considering getting divorced,” said Fang. “But after he returned to health, he begged me not to leave him.”
In 2013 while walking home together, Fang’s husband was hit by a car which then fled the scene. The police never found the culprit.
When asked about the sacrifices she was making for her children, Fang replied that only through her hard work would the funds for her daughter’s education be found.
Since the story made headlines, thousands of netizens have taken to online forums to express their admiration for Fang’s love for her children.
A user named 小橘子leslie wrote, “What a great mother’s love!”
“Seeing this scene, do I have any reason to complain about my life?” said 积木.
“She’s the mother who moved China. I hope the daughter will study hard and not let her mother down,” commented 春盟芽开.
Another user named 万烽的酒世界 remarked: “Kid, remember your mother. She’s the best role model you’ll ever have in your life!”
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Sina]