This is the amazing story of one girl against the world. Despite mind-numbingly difficult challenges faced during the earliest years of her life, Li MingLing has managed to cultivate a life for herself at just seventeen. She lives alone in Lanxian County, Shanxi Province, in China.
Her life story is a sad one, and yet you wouldn’t think it, given her well-kept house and the abundance of beautiful green plants that are growing in her backyard. She has learned how to be completely self-sufficient out of necessity and tough life experiences.
She feeds herself with the rows of tomatoes, beans, green peppers and corn she tends to every day. She learned early on how to wash her own clothes and tend to her house, without an adult.
From the outside, it looks like any other family home, but due to the many challenges and losses in her life, Li Mingling lives there alone, and impressively keeps it in great shape. “As long as this home is not abandoned, I will always have a place to call home,” she said.
Mi MingLing began what seemed like a normal life. She was an only child, with happy family life and was cared for by her parents. But after this positive beginning, she was thrown into independence at an early age.
When she was just six years old, her mother left. This change is difficult for any family. Her father believed the reason that she left was that he had not earned enough money to keep her happy, as a consequence, he began working intensely.
This meant that he barely saw his daughter, and only visited the house twice a year. Li MingLing, therefore, taught herself how to do household chores. She would block the outside gate with a large branch, to keep herself safe.
Tragically, when she was only 14 years of age, her father became ill with cancer and died. Her only comfort was her Grandfather, who helped her through this tough time.
They were very close and would play music together. But only a year following her father’s death, her Grandfather also died, leaving her with no family member to turn to.
Her only friend at home was a puppy that kept her company and gave her comfort when she was upset about her loss. “Whenever I can’t help but cry, the puppy will be there for me. It feels really good.”
As well as keeping the house in good shape, Li MingLing currently attends school and takes her studies seriously: “I want to study hard. Not just because I could keep the house but also because I want to build a better future for me so that father and grandpa will be relieved when they look at me from heaven.”
It will be exciting to see which direction this bright young girl will take. Who knows what she will achieve in the future?
With such a strong will; amazing resourcefulness, and as an inspiration to anyone who has been through a hard time or ever feels alone; we believe she has already done her family proud.