4th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A 49-year-old foot masseuse from Lianzhou, Guangdong, has been caring for her husband, who is 17 years her senior and suffering from an illness. The couple’s cross-border marriage has relied on the wife’s monthly income of HK$30,000 from her foot massage job, supporting their family of four. Despite working almost every day, she remains devoted to her ailing husband and recently shared a heartfelt 13-word declaration of love that touched the internet.
The 49-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her story in an interview with a popular internet personality. She revealed that she and her husband, who is now 66 years old and unable to work due to a stroke, reside in a 700-square-foot village house on Peng Chau, one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.
“My mother-in-law purchased the 700-square-foot house,” the woman said. “Back then, it cost around HK$200, around 30 years ago. It should be worth over HK$5 million now.” The astounding claim of buying a 700-square-foot house for HK$200 raises eyebrows, but the woman explained that her husband’s family were fishermen from Peng Chau, and it is unclear if there were special circumstances that allowed them to acquire the property at such a low price.
The couple’s bedroom is not very spacious, with three additional rooms in the house. In September 2015, when her husband suddenly suffered a stroke and was hospitalized, she was living in Dongguan, Guangzhou, taking care of their two daughters. She subsequently came to Hong Kong to care for her husband, as she was unable to return due to the pandemic for three years. During that time, her sister-in-law took over the caregiving duties, and the woman sent HK$5,000 to HK$6,000 per month as compensation for her sister-in-law’s assistance.
With the resumption of border crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China earlier this year, the woman returned to Hong Kong to care for her husband. In this stop-and-start manner, she has been caring for her husband for about four years.
The woman explained that prior to her husband falling ill in 2015, she was a homemaker with no work experience. However, in 2016, the following year, she made the decision to enter the massage industry in Hong Kong, transitioning from a homemaker to a full-time masseuse.
According to the woman, being a masseuse is physically demanding. Currently, their monthly household expenses amount to around HKD 20,000, and they have savings of around HK$200,000 to HK$300,000. She stated that she has to be very frugal, saying, “I never eat breakfast outside!” She said her husband has always been considerate towards her. When they first met, her husband was just a labourer with no money.
Before falling ill, the husband said to her, “I’ll work, you take care of the family.” In the interview, the woman continued, “He (the husband) told me he was sorry, sorry for not being able to earn money for the family anymore. He told me to take care of the family, and he would just be there to support me.” Moved by her husband’s words and dedication, the woman expressed her love in a 13-word “declaration of love”: “I will take care of you for the rest of my life.”