Decades devoted to her daughter-in-law

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A 94-year-old woman in North China's Shanxi province has been praised for her virtue after caring for her partially paralyzed daughter-in-law for almost three decades.

Sun Yincong combs the hair of her daughter-in-law Ren Caimei at their home in Yuncheng, Shanxi province. [For China Daily]  

Sun Yincong combs the hair of her daughter-in-law Ren Caimei at their home in Yuncheng, Shanxi province. [For China Daily] 

Sun Yincong, from Tai'an village, in Yuncheng's Ruicheng county, has been named one of the province's most moral citizens, local newspaper Sanjin City News reported recently.

Her fellow villagers revere her to such an extent that they have set aside one day each year to celebrate her, the eighth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

"Sun has spent 27 years caring for her paralyzed daughter-in-law, and has never left her side. It's common to see daughters-in-law looking after mothers-in-law, but Sun's case is just the opposite," said one villager, who refused to be named.

In November 1989, Sun's husband died of an illness. Her son was poisoned in a gas leak just 10 days afterward. Six months later Sun's distraught daughter-in-law, Ren Caimei, had a stroke and developed hemiplegia - partial paralysis down one entire side of her body.

Sun decided then and there to take care of Ren.

"My grandma never leaves my mother's side for a moment and always looks after her," said Gao Weidong, Sun's eldest grandson.

"Once my mother had such a severe stroke that the doctors were ready to give up. Our relatives and friends asked my grandma to give up treatment. But my grandma insisted on taking my mother to another doctor. Thanks to my kind grandma, my mother is still alive."

For years, Sun would help Ren in and out of bed, carrying her when necessary and dressing her when she could not. But since last year, she has asked Gao Hongyu, Ren's daughter who lives in the same village, to help with the daily chores.

"Each morning, grandma helps wash mother's face and comb her hair. She usually takes my mother to enjoy the sunshine when it's sunny and is used to preparing meals after asking my mother's opinions with gestures," Gao Hongyu said.

"When my mother draws a circle with her hands, my grandma will serve her baked pancake, but when my mother draws a long strip with hands, that means she wants noodles."

Sun, who lives in the room beside Ren's, said the whole family had pulled together to look after her disabled daughter-in-law.

"Thanks to our family's efforts, our lives are better. No matter what happens, our family will keep on living a full life," she said.

Zhang Chaoping, head of Tai'an village, said Sun had a "great personality" and was also kind to other villagers.

"Her actions teach her family members, neighbors and other villagers," Zhang said.

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