When a girl marries a man she loves despite her parents’ objections, she feels in her heart that he is the one. A girl marries when she is deeply in love, and no one can stop her. Love and Marriage go hand-in-hand though they differ from each other. More often than not, couples misunderstand these.
She is a petite woman resembling a “porcelain doll” and has a height of only 3-Feet (80 cm.) He was a man with a height of 5’9″ (1.8 meters). He pursued her until they were married, handing over his salary, and promised to buy a house for her to show his loyalty. She believed in her heart it was true love and married him despite her family’s objection.
This was the love story of the fabulous Li Ximei and her husband, Shenyang. Li Ximei was living the dream life for three years. After which, the marriage came to an end, and Li Ximei suffered a breakdown.
Shenyang’s origin and background are unknown, and his whereabouts are a mystery. Today, Li Ximei has become the chairman of a company she has built and is worth millions.
From rags to riches, how did Li Ximei succeed?
In 1990, a wife in Shangqiu, Henan, China, gave birth to a lovely baby girl. Her arrival made the couple very happy. Her father named her “Ximei”, meaning, “to be a noble girl” in hopes that she would grow up to be tough as she is beautiful.
Three days after Li Ximei was born, while her mother was changing her diaper, the mother noticed that Li Ximei’s legs were intertwined together like a knot. This worried her. Li Ximei’s mother thought she was sick prompting her husband to immediately bring Li Ximei to the hospital for examination.
Li Ximei was diagnosed with Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), or brittle bone disease. It is an inherited bone disorder that is present at birth. A child born with OI may have soft bones that break (fracture) easily and bones that are not formed normally, among other problems. This disease has an incidence rate of 3 in 100,000, hitting Li Ximei and shattering the happiness of the family.
Since then, Li Ximei’s parents have become very protective of her. They never kept her out of their sight in fear that she may meet an unfortunate incident. However, Li Ximei still inevitably gets injured. She breaks some of her bones when she catches a cold, coughs, and when she sneezes. Her parents have to bring her to the hospital whenever this happens, and it has become a routine for the family.
Seeing their daughter being tortured by her disease, they sought medical consultations from various specialists in hopes for Li Ximei to have a chance at a better life. The family started having debts from other people, around US$9,000 to $10,500, though Li Ximei’s condition did not improve. The accidents were still unfaltering.
One day, her father took Li Ximei for a ride in their electric tricycle. Although he was very careful, he still made a sharp turn to avoid a collision which made the tricycle fall to its side. Li Ximei’s head hit a brick on the road, and immediately lost consciousness. Her father panicked and hurriedly brought her to the hospital.
When they arrived, the doctors noticed how serious the injury was and refused to perform surgery without the proper authorization, so the family was referred to a larger and more reputable hospital.
“Please, save her! She does not deserve this!” The father knelt down, grabbed the doctor’s arm, and begged him since her daughter’s life is on the line. The doctor was touched by his sincerity. Though with hesitation, he finally said, “Okay, let’s try it, but there is no guarantee that she will be saved.”
Preparations were done, and the doctor succeeded in saving Li Ximei’s life. The incident became a lesson to her parents, and they took extra precautions to avoid further accidents. They became more careful with their fragile daughter.
In 1996, Li Ximei turned 6-years-old, and her height stopped growing. She was only 3-feet tall.
Unable to walk, she loved to watch children her age pass by, carrying their bags and went on their way to school. Li Ximei could only stay at home and kept a dog for companionship. She could only keep her loneliness for so long. One day, Li Ximei no longer wanted to sit at home and feel useless.
She begged her father: “Dad, I want to go to school too.” Her parents wanted to take her offer for consideration, but due to her condition, they had to decline. Instead, her parents bought books to read and books with photos and home-schooled Li Ximei.
Gradually, Li Ximei learned arithmetic, write names, and knew more about the colorful world outside. The days went by fast, and years have passed.
In 2005, Li Ximei turned 15-years-old. She yearns to thrive in the outside world. She wanted to earn some money, meet the man of her dreams, and no longer be a burden to her parents. Soon, the opportunity came.
One day, a friend of Li Ximei encouraged her to play outside. There she met a fellow villager. He asked her, “Do you want to go out with me and make money? Three hundred dollars a month.” Overjoyed by the opportunity, Li Ximei did not hesitate and agreed. On the other hand, her parents refused. They became suspicious and thought, “How can our daughter earn that much money looking like this?”
The fellow villager still persisted. He encouraged Li Ximei and her parents, then said, “There are more opportunities in Shanghai! You will literally be digging for gold everywhere.”
To prove his point, He bought Li Ximei new clothes and invited her to eat Ramen (instant noodles). The unstoppable Li Ximei became more determined to go and venture into the outside world. After her persistent encouragement, her parents reluctantly gave their permission. Li Ximei and the fellow villager went on their way.
When they arrived in Shanghai, Li Ximei did not expect what came to her. The villager revealed his true agenda. He threw Li Ximei on a nearby busy street, with a begging bowl and a large character poster behind her with false information.
For quite some time, Li Ximei was a beggar on the roadside. The passers-by terrified her, but she was immobile and could not escape. Being homesick, Li Ximei did not hesitate to cry out loud. The crowd felt pity for her and offered her some help. Li Ximei almost lost contact with her family.
Not hearing from his daughter for quite some time, Li Ximei’s father headed to Shanghai to visit her. When he arrived, what immediately caught his eye infuriated him. Seeing his daughter begging on the street, he immediately brought her back to their hometown.
Never in her entire life did he imagine his daughter begging on the streets. Even if their family’s situation is only average, he would never let his daughter beg on the streets to earn money. Since then, her father took her wherever he went and protected her more for fear that another unfortunate incident would arise.
Now, Li Ximei realized everything her father has done for her. Though she knew that her father would grow old one day, and she cannot rely on him for the rest of her life. The idea of making money for herself was like a flame that kept on igniting in her heart. She yearned for it.
In 2007, the course of her life took a turn for the better. Li Ximei and her father went to Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, to work and earn a living.
When they arrived, the Li family slept in various small hotels since they have not found a place to live yet. They ate steamed buns and drank tap water daily to make ends meet. Even so, Li Ximei’s is still very happy. She was impressed to find that “There are really many opportunities in big cities.”
Relying on a few songs she learned from listening to the radio, Li Ximei and her father “brought entertainment” to the streets. Although her singing voice was not good, maybe a little out-of-tune, people were impressed by her inspirational spirit. All passers-by have given her money for an impressive show.
The time would fly so fast, and after a day of entertaining the crowd, Li Ximei would earn dozens of dollars, and sometimes, even hundreds. Li Ximei was overjoyed by the money she has earned for herself. She first bought clothes for her parents and then bought herself an electric wheelchair. In this way, she need not trouble her parents to push her wheelchair every day.
The days were getting better, and Li Ximei worked hard to earn her money and improve their situation at home.
Moving forward to 2012, online video streaming was booming. Li Ximei took the opportunity and registered for a channel on YouTube. She fixes herself and wears make-up while facing the camera, sings popular songs to her subscribers, and shares her life experiences with them. Although she received some bashing comments, she still was very happy to entertain people. She said: “I never feel that I am inferior to others. What others can do, I can do it too.”
Her motivational words have inspired a lot of followers, and people have left messages to cheer her up: “Come on, good work!”, “You can definitely do it.” With the increasing number of followers, Li Ximei earned more money. She started a cosmetics business and did demonstrations through live streaming. Seeing the steady development of her career, Li Ximei was very happy. “I’m finally not a burden to my parents,” she said.
As Li Ximei was getting older, she wanted to try her luck in a relationship. She realized that her parents are getting older and would not be able to accompany her for the rest of her life. She wanted to find a partner to spend forever with.
With her plans in mind, Li Ximei began her journey of finding a good relationship. She began by paying attention to her private messages. When a message she reads felt like an opportunity, she would reply and hope that her destiny would emerge through the messages. The process was not easy. She learned that men are smooth talkers on the messages but get discouraged when they see her in person. Most of them just “ghosted” her afterward.
Li Ximei was not discouraged and still continued to reply to private messages, waiting for that day her partner would make himself known.
In 2014, that person appeared. His name was Shenyang, was born in the northeastern countryside, and he was 5 years older than her. As an avid follower, Shenyang would watch every live streaming Li Ximei would do. After some exchanges of messages, the two gradually became acquainted and became friends on a messenger app. Not long after, Shenyang confessed his love to her.
Shenyang is 5’9″ (1.8 meters) tall and is physically fit. Li Ximei started having doubts since she considered how she looked physically. She reluctantly refused him. Shenyang realized this but did not give up. He still sent her daily text messages and made phone calls, sharing interesting stories about him and making her smile. Seeing his persistence, Li Ximei’s heart felt a little confused. Shenyang decided to travel from Wuxi to Zhengzhou to visit her!
Though she was surprised, she still did not forget to entertain her guest. She took him to the scenic spots of Zhengzhou. In return, he took care of her and protected her.
After some time, Li Ximei and Shenyang secretly got engaged before Shenyang returned to his hometown for his job. Li Ximei was overjoyed, but the sane part of her still made her decide to wait and see. Once he was on a break from work, Shenyang would travel to Zhengzhou to visit Li Ximei. They would walk on the streets of Zhengzhou, and Li Ximei’s heart is very happy.
Once, Li Ximei caught a cold, and Shenyang took her to the nearest hospital. He would carry her on and off the taxi and through various inspections. Li Ximei felt safe in his strong arms.
Li Ximei and Shenyang finally met their first challenge in a relationship, her parents. Li Ximei’s parents first voted against their engagement. They found it very strange for a healthy man to fall for a petite woman like Li Ximei. They found it difficult to trust the man in front of them. They were afraid for Li Ximei to make another mistake. She was their precious daughter, and was afraid that someday, he would take her away and make her beg on the streets.
“Even if you find a blind man from the next village, you can still rely on each other.” Father Li said.
Li Ximei finally found her true love, though her parents did not understand why. She was heartbroken. She said: “I feel that I have never been happy in my life. I was sad because of my illness when I was a child, and I still can’t be happy with love when I grew up?”
Faced with an irreconcilable dilemma, Li Ximei still did not want to give up. She did her best to persuade her parents and grant permission for their marriage. To prove his sincerity to Li Ximei, he gave her all the US$7,494.00 he had saved from his part-time job, and in front of her family, promised to buy her a house and put it under Li Ximei’s name.
Although Li Ximei’s parents still had their doubts, they have seen the couple’s determination, and the parents could not beat the Mandarin “duck,” so they finally agreed for the couple to be married.
On Christmas Day 2015, Li Ximei and Shenyang finally married. After their wedding, Shenyang quit his job in Wuxi and transferred to Zhengzhou to live with the Li family. After a few months, the couple adopted a boy to make their family complete. She met her true love and became a mother. Li Ximei felt that she was the happiest woman in the world.
A few years have passed, and Li Ximei did not expect that what seemed to be forever could be lost in just a blink of an eye.
In 2017, short videos became a trend, and her live broadcasts on YouTube showed an unavoidable decline. Li Ximei’s performance is inevitably affected. For quite some time, she has experienced a decline in her financial situation, and she has been in a state of making ends meet. On the other hand, Shenyang has not gone out to work since they got married. He stayed at home all day and played video games or goes out to play poker and gamble. Whenever he ran out of money, he would persuade Li Ximei to provide him with some.
Although Li Ximei complained a lot, he always felt guilty due to her condition. So as long as she could give, he would give in to her demands. In the end, her patience did not bring Shenyang’s understanding. Due to the massive decline in her social media channel, the couple’s funds have ended sooner than expected. To make the situation worse, Shenyang abandoned his wife and son. He fled and was never heard of again.
The once-happy marriage only lasted a little more than two years, and it came to an end too soon. Looking at her hungry son and a divorce letter on the table, Li Ximei realized that her one-and-only love was nothing but a man wearing a mask to disguise a “fair-weathered” husband. Although she admits that she was once caught in a “true love” drama and is unable to detach herself.
She finally got the courage to laugh at her stupidity, though she was ashamed to face her parents. She clearly didn’t want them to worry, but in the end, it broke their hearts. It was too late for Li Ximei to be sad. She knew she still had a son to raise and had elderly parents. She told herself that she will no longer sulk and will never fail.
Taking advantage of her experience from a failed live-streaming channel, Li Ximei switched to Douyin and Kuaishou. She was already familiar with making videos, so she made short videos and shared them on the platform. She also posted trips outside the country she had with her son. Not long after she shared her videos online did she garner millions of followers on her social media. Relying on her huge following, Li Ximei continued to do live streaming and tell them good stories.
In 2019, Li Ximei decided to establish her own cosmetics company and called it after her own name. She demonstrated her brand on her live broadcast and also learned about Taobao e-commerce. The early stages were very difficult, though gradually, Li Ximei became successful and now has joined the ranks of various entrepreneurs who are worth tens of millions.
Once her career was a success, Li Ximei still did not forget to give back to society. She provides half of her income to charity. Whether it was for the victims of the pandemic in 2020, this year’s flood in Henan, or children’s education in impoverished remote areas, she does not fail in providing financial assistance and materials to these charities.
Due to the rain that drenched her, she wanted to hold an umbrella for others. Li Ximei’s “fragile” body never stopped her from showing the bravest side of her appearance. She says, “What is there to fear?”
Credits to: Baidu