It’s been five years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, but 60-year-old farmer Li Eryou and his wife are still hopeful that their son is alive.
Yanlin, was one of the 239 passengers on the fateful flight that mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014.
After the plane vanished, Li abandoned his farmland and frequently traveled to Beijing to attend meetings with Malaysian representatives, hoping to find out more about what happened to his son.
Sometimes I couldn't manage to get the last ticket of the day, I would have to sleep overnight at the square of the railway station and catch the first early train home on next day.
“I need money to look for my son and I have had no income for the past five years. Going on the trip to find my child was costing a lot every year, so I never dared to stay in a hotel when I was in Beijing. Sometimes I couldn’t manage to get the last ticket of the day, I would have to sleep overnight at the square of the railway station and catch the first early train home on next day”, Li said.
Yanlin was one the few from this village in Hebei province who attended university and was working in Malaysia for Chinese telecom giant ZTE and only came home once a year or so during the Lunar New Year. Yanlin’s mother was diagnosed with severe depression a year after the disappearance of her son.
“I asked my son: ‘Why are you insisting to sleep with us in our bed, now that you have grown up? You should sleep on your own.’ My son said: ‘Because every year the time I’ve spent with you guys was too short.’ My son only came back home for nine or 10 days per year, during the Lunar New Year, eleven or twelve days at the longest. He only came back home once a year. My son told me: ‘Mom and dad, I just want to spend more time with you’‘, 60 year old, Liu Shuangfeng.
The couple cling to the strong belief that somewhere, somehow their son is still alive.
For five years, Li has written more than two thousand poems and constantly updates a post on social media in memory of his missing son.
He also dials his son’s phone number every Saturday night, although the automatically generated voice message says the phone has been turned off.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared over the South China Sea and 154 of the passengers were Chinese.