Lars Lindberg – Why Worry?

I was born in Sweden in 1927. I worked on the ships all my life. For years I worked in the engine room. Down there they had stokers who shovelled the coal. That was in the old days. Of course now there are steam turbines.

In August this year a melanoma was found at the back of my eye. I didn’t want to have my eye out. Who would? And I’m eighty! (Patricia: A trustee was appointed but they didn’t come to any meeting.) Eventually the doctors persuaded me because it hadn’t spread and it was worth it.

I am still gardening. I do maintenance at the hostel, sweeping paths and that sort of thing. I read constantly. I read the paper every day. I’d be lost without it. I take it with me everywhere so I don’t get bored waiting for doctors and the like. I think boredom is the biggest killer.

Who wouldn’t feel down for a bit? It is definitely a loss and an inconvenience. Since I lost the eye I feel worried about what’s happening on the side that I can’t see. You have to depend more on your hearing on that side than your sight.

I’m better off than if I’d lost my leg. I think, why worry? I’ve got one foot in the grave anyway. Why worry? I am a lucky man. I am looked after.

Told by Lars Lindberg with the help of his carer Patricia Martin.

As told to Julia Sutton. Reprinted with permission from Lars Lindberg. You may link to this story, but please do not copy or otherwise circulate.