Mrs. Yu Lixian, 86 years old, was born in Hangzhou, grew up in Shanghai, studied in Suzhou and moved to Beijing in 1956. Before Mrs. Yu retired she worked in a hospital. In her own words, she has been “serving the people all her life”.
Mrs. Yu helps people with a massage when they have a headache or pain in their arms or when something is wrong with the nerves on their back. She never waits for people in need to look for her; instead, she always looks for them. “She is really kindhearted!” says Wang Yingxia who is having at treatment by Mrs. Yu.
Mrs. Yu studied in a nursing school when she was 16. After three years of study and two years of internship in an out-patient department, she became a nurse. She says she started working before the New China was founded. But not for long at that time; “When I was young, my husband didn’t allow me to go to work, so I don’t have any retirement pension, really. Now my husband is gone and I am living on my children.”
While she is slowly telling her own story, she at the same time takes care of Mrs. Wang. “Stretch your fingers. Are they sour? Do they hurt or just feel sour? Don’t let your hands catch more cold.”
Mrs. Wang Yingxia is from Hebei Province. She used to be a salesperson. At the moment she has no job, because she is spending time taking care of her six-month-old child. She says she will go back to work when her child grows older. Her fingers are probably sour due to her work in the house and always working with her hands in cold water.