Finding Love Again

Finding Love Again


Written for our wedding

We come today with promises in our pockets,

Large words like always and forever,

Difficult to grasp, like tumbling rockets.

For the sun does not always shine or the birds sing,

And though always and forever surround this ring,

Better that I give you the everyday thing.

I promise always perfect weather

On roads we walk alone together.

I’ll hold your hand and cross the street.

At night I’ll lift and rub your feet.

Evenings I shall set the table and

While passing from napkins to knives.

I shall catch you round the waist

As husbands will with wives.

And later, when dark has come,

Except for reflections of the sun,

I shall gather the evening tea

And turn on lights for poetry.

—Ted 1996


My personal life changed in the 1990s. I fell in love again! After several years of friendship blossoming into love, in 1996, I married Dr. Lynn Spitler (Figure 11.1). Lynn is a world-class immunologist who is primarily interested in the care of patients with melanoma. She believed in the importance of the immune system to the management of cancer decades before that importance was proven. Lynn shares my passion for walking in the mountains; indeed, she said she wouldn’t have been interested in me if I had remained the couch potato I was before Tom Hornbein changed all that. I find honesty compelling, both in research partners and in life partners. Now, even after 21 years of marriage, Lynn’s honesty makes me smile. Early in our relationship, I had season tickets
to the symphony. I asked her to a performance. “No thank you; I don’t go to the symphony. I’m not interested” she responded. I abandoned my subscription.

Our family grew with this marriage. Lynn brought her daughter, Diane Anderson, and son, Paul Spitler, into the family. All our children married and had children (totaling, for our combined families, 6 children, 6 spouses of children, and 14 grandchildren). They shared my passion for walking in the mountains, and we had many backpacking trips in the Sierras. They also joined us in Mendocino.

Mendocino is a special place for me. Lynn and I stay at the Headlands House at the edge of town, overlooking the ocean. There my heart sings! We walk through Headlands State Park (Figure 11.2) and hike the trails to Fern Canyon. We often have dinner at the picturesque Ledford House, right on the water in Albion. I often ask the instrumentalist to play “Our Love is Here to Stay.” Sentimental Ted!

Lynn’s favorite is the Kihei coast of Maui (Figure 11.3). We usually walk hand in hand along the beach during the day and dine on fish and seaweed at night. Lynn snorkels. I watch (more on this below).

Whenever possible, we invite our children and friends to accompany us on our trips to Mendocino and Hawaii.

Traveling With Lynn

Lynn and I share many passions, including dance, theater, and cross-country skiing (Figure 11.4). Lynn also has a passion for traveling the world, which I don’t share. When I was invited to be a guest speaker in Guangzhou, China, I asked her if we should go. She thoughtfully told me to do whatever I wanted to do. When I told her I declined the invitation, she asked “What?” We went, of course. With Lynn as my traveling companion, the trip provided another adventure. As a bonus, we took a cruise past the karst limestone formations on the nearby Li River (Figure 11.5).

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May 24, 2022 | Posted by in ANESTHESIA | Comments Off on Finding Love Again

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