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Love me, forget me, please

Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-07-29 14:22

Love me, forget me, please

Cui Liying(L) and Shen Shukun have been married for over 60 years. Photo provided to Shanghai Star

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They have been together since their teens, but soon they may have to part. He wants her to forget him, so life without him will be easier. Wang Ying listens to their heart-rending tale of enduring love.

Shen Shukun, 86, is in the final stages of prostate cancer. His wife, Cui Liying, also 86, suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is almost totally blind.

They've been married for more than 60 years, but Shen says he had hoped to grow old together happily. But now, he hopes her disease will allow her to forget him when he's gone, so her life will be easier.

That may be his last wish.

His health is no longer as he wishes it to be and Shen suffers from diabetes and lung, bladder and kidney ailments, He also has prostate cancer but decided to stop treatment.

Earlier this year, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, he moved into the nursing home where his wife now stays so he could spend his remaining days next to her.

"Every morning, I pull her into my room from the other building, make her a cup of coffee with milk, her favorite drink, and we watch sports programs on TV together," Shen says.

Sweet memories

Shen and Cui first met in 1945 when they were both teenagers. Shen's cousin had introduced them and they quickly became close. "Open courtship was rare in those days, and I guess we were one of the lucky couples," recalls Shen.

Both were born into wealthy families and received good educations.

Shen studied agriculture at Fu Jen Catholic University.

"My father bought a lot of farmland in Hangzhou, and that's why I chose to study agriculture," Shen says.

A shared interest in dancing helped the couple grow closer. Shen says Cui was a great dancer, and before they got married they danced as often as possible.

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.

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.

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