A Friend Until Death-- Shirley's 112nd Friendly Greeting-- Sun, Nov 4, 2007

How are you? I do hope that you are well and have an easy and relaxed weekend.

This week, the happiest thing is that I have seen my former roommate and her husband as two best friends. She and I became roommates when she was 17 and I was 14, as the only nurse and the only teacher in a group of corps soldiers in the border of China and Russia. We went there according to the requests of Chairman Mao in the Culture Revolution before we went to the universities. We worked very hard to teach ourselves for our duties.

There we experienced twice coal gas poisonings in the nights, for we did not know how to use a coal stove so that we almost lost our lives. There she saved my life, when I suffered an acute disease in the rain in a night. Then her family helped me in Haerbin City.

She was my roommate for 3 years, from my age 14 to 17, her age 17 to 20. She looked after me as "an elder sister" on life. Always, it was her to clean the room, ordered my bed, carried water and did heavy jobs. After I came back from the hospital from Haerbin, I was fevered for about 3 months and I could not eat the local food. Also it was her to re-cook every meal for me, until my fever was gone. You can not imagine how I learned to inject and acupuncture when I was 15 or 16 years old. On a New Year's Day, she was sick and fevered. There was no one being able to inject for her for she was the only nurse and there was not any doctor in the team at all. As her roommate, all what I could do was to put a cold towel on her head. Her fever was getting higher in the middle night. No way, first time I tried to inject for her, but, just pushing half of a tube of the medicine, the needle was broken. Anyway, her fever was gone next morning.

A funny thing is that when I recalled these things today, my tears are flowing on my face. At that time, we did not realize how much in danger we were. We were always in a good emotion and felt that life was beautiful. We had a bottle of wild flowers in our room in the summer. We kept reading by oil light or a candle. There was always the smell of medicine, flowers and books in our room, a little place as her medicine office, my teacher's office and also our bedroom for whole of 3 years.

For the past experiences, we have become good friends until death; we have been keeping a connection for about 30 years already.

She has retired for years. Now she is sick and her lower limbs have changed black and looked terrible for serious varicosis. So, her husband has given up her job and to take her to have a travel before she accepts an operation. They did not want to stay in the hotel and they wanted to offer me some ready food when I come back from work. So they are living in my home now. They came into my home on Saturday, they have cooked me several good meals for me already.

So, I put down the work from my office and accompanied them on my weekend. We have visited the biggest park of Shenzhen - Window of the World and we have seen some performance already. My feeling is that there are two family members in my home already; I do feel happy for that.

How about you? Have you had any cherish friend for a long time?
I am just a learner on that art of painting, music, calligraphy, languages and to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a little bit things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be An Electronic Bridge Of Culture Exchange, Friendship and Language Learning. To help the others while to improve myself.

I appreciate your understanding, directions and supports. I do hope to get your friendly help...

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please write to or You are welcomed to publish your opinions in the forum.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Written and Edited on Sun, Nov 04, 2007

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