China / Society

Love story of Shanghai couple, both 86, endures

(Shanghai Star) Updated: 2014-07-24 14:10

Shen says he was touched by Cui's good nature and generosity. "Many of our old neighbors, who knew us for more than 40 years, still visit her after she moved into the nursing home in 2012," he says.

Love story of Shanghai couple, both 86, endures

Shen Shukun and his wife Cui Liying (front, 3rd from left) in this photo undated. [Provided by Shanghai Star]
The couple's parents were eager to have grandchildren, so Shen and Cui got married in 1949. They went on to have three children, two boys and girl.

Cui became a housewife and took care of the children.

"We never quarreled throughout the marriage," Shen says. "If we had differing opinions, we would calm down and try to see the other's point of view."


Cui's health started declining around 10 years ago, when she began losing her sight. A few years ago, her condition worsened when she began showing signs of dementia and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Despite Cui's condition, Shen still tried to dance with her as much as possible, to help her exercise her muscles. Shen took care of Cui until November 2012, when he brought her to the Pudong Shinan Nursing Home.

The day after he moved Cui into the nursing home, Shen began receiving treatment for his prostate cancer.

On June 7 this year, Shen and Cui had a photo taken with her in a bridal gown, something they never had a chance to do when they were young.

Shen also asked his wife to dance, and they did a waltz.

Shen never had the chance to formally proposeto Cui, so he got down on one knee, with flowers in his hands, and popped the question.

During the photo shoot, Shen sang The Moon Represents My Heart, and every time he reached the line, "Oh my love istrue", he gazed into his wife's eyes.

Shen and Cui live in different rooms at the nursing home, but he says this is because he may be sent to the hospital at any time, and he doesn't want to upset Cui.

"For me, every day is a gift from Heaven, so I cherish each day together," he says.

He says there is still one thing he wishes. "I want her to forget me after I am gone. That way, she may be able to lead a happier life."

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