Better and better

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 11:10 am by Libbie

This note will be short, unlike the last one (sorry that turned into such a tome). Just wanted to report that Al is feeling better each day than the one before. Today he’s walking around with no cane at all and with much less pain in his legs and hardly any in his head. The after effects of the CT scan were a nuisance, but even they are fading. His stomach is less upset, the constipation is improved (sorry if that’s too much information), and the flu-like symptoms are gone. Needless to say, we are delighted.

As Al reminded us this morning, we want to go beyond just being happy about all this and remember to thank God, whose gift it is. Please rejoice with us!



  1. Joan Roberts said,

    September 9, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    Libbie and Al,
    I am the full-time dental hygienist at Dr. Cacovean’s. I had the pleasure of seeing Al in June. I have been keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers and I will continue to to so.
    The courage, strength, and stamina that the whole Groves family displays is truly inspirational.
    p.s. I told Dr. Cacovean all the kind words you had to say about the tooth numbing saga, I’m glad we finally got that tooth in order for you. Sorry to hear about Eowyn’s post-op healing complication. Glad to hear she’s doing better.
    God bless you all.
    Joan Roberts

  2. Kathy Woods said,

    September 9, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    I sent this to a friend whose sister recently died. An old “picture” in poetry form. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    Kathy Woods

    Taken from The One Year Book of Poetry, devotionals published by Tyndale Press.

    “My Cocoon Tightens, Colors Tease”
    By Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    My Cocoon tightens – Colors tease —
    I’m feeling for the Air —
    A dim capacity for Wings
    Demeans the Dress I wear —

    A power of Butterfly must be —
    The Aptitude to fly
    Meadows of Majesty implies
    And easy Sweeps of Sky —

    So I must baffle at the Hint
    And cipher at the Sign
    And make much blunder, if at last
    I take the clue divine —

    Dickinson uses the image of a caterpillar in chrysalis form as a metaphor of Christian transformation. The desire in the caterpillar to become what it should be is seen throughout. Thus, the change in colors “tease.” It feels “for the Air.” It knows it has a “capacity for Wings” and the “Aptitude to fly.” Eventually, that inherent power will burst forth from the chrysalis with full-spread wings. Then the butterfly, with “easy Sweeps” of its wings will be the majestic master of the meadows.

    What a wonderful picture God has given us in the butterfly – a worm transfigured into a beautiful flying creature! A similar transformation is taking place in the lives of those of us who are Christians. At present, we are like the caterpillar in the chrysalis. We have a new, divine life within us that is transforming us into the likeness of Christ. When he returns, we will shed our imperfect body and sinful nature like a butterfly breaking out of its chrysalis. Until then, we endure a slow and sometimes painful transformation.

    “But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.” I Corinthians 15:51-53.


    When I saw the picture [at the funeral] of your sister, Susan, with her arms outstretched over the Grand Canyon, I had to catch my breath. I’d just read the devotional thoughts above the day before and the picture of her taking off in flight became so real to me. I could just see her breaking free to fly over “meadows of majesty” and “sweeps of sky”!

    Getting older, I’ve become more alert to reading passages like this one that give me a greater confidence in the hope of eternal life that we’ve been promised in Jesus. This poem really spoke to my heart. We all know what it is to struggle “inside the chrysalis”. Some times it’s a struggle with the world and others around us that make us feel uncomfortable and taut, make us feel like we just don’t fit here anymore. Some times it’s struggling with our old bodies, that shell that holds our spirit, from which we feel the pressure. We feel suffocated, gasping for air. We had a taste of another world when we met Jesus (further enhanced every time we meet Him in our quiet time, in a friend, et al), a world with pure air, fresh, full of color, full of joy, peace, love, kindness.

    All His brilliance has been coloring our wings as His spirit grows in us and there’s a driving desire inside us to break free of the chrysalis and fly. Even the good things here, “the dress I wear”, seems demeaning in light of that hope we’ve glimpsed in the distance. I couldn’t help remembering the butterflies that fluttered around our farm – the orange, the red, and the iridescent blues. What color! Or the time the boys ran into our house (on George Hill) and called me to come see the huge pale green Luna moth as large as a small bird. My preteen sons and I stood watching in awe (As you know, it takes a lot to make boys stand still!) as it flitted from bush to bush and finally disappeared into our wood lot.

    All of this can leave us baffled at the mystery of it all. It’s like deciphering a secret code and we blunder along through life hoping it’s really true. That some day, some where, we, too, will be free of the chrysalis, spread our wings and fly. I love the confidence with which Paul writes to the Corinthians, “….We will all be transformed. It will happen….. Christians…will be raised with transformed bodies…. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.” It is a certainty.

    Blessings, Kathy Woods

  3. judi said,

    September 9, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    hi libbie and family…

    we are now outside of boston, on our way home from maine. was able to read your updates from our hotel room (whatever did we do without the internet…) so glad to hear that al is feeling better. would have loved a picture of al with the cane looking so macho 🙂

    looking forward to seeing you soon, i told al i’d make dinner and we could bring it over and all eat together. the offer still stands if he’s up to it.

    daily prayers, much love

  4. Fred said,

    September 10, 2006 at 8:32 am

    Thank God for encouraging your hearts so, and thank you for blessing us by so faithfully sharing his goodness with us.

    May Christ’s peace be yours.


    P.S. I trust that Eowyn is better, and recovered from the wisdom tooth surgery.

  5. Mark Hartman said,

    September 11, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Hi Al and Libbie,
    Today during our worship service, I was moved to pray for your family as we sang a song with a chorus line, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”. The song speaks of knowing God’s blessings during good times and during difficult times of suffering and pain. May God’s blessings on your family continue, whatever the coming days bring.
    Your brother,

  6. Mark A. Stone said,

    September 11, 2006 at 7:47 am

    Thank you Libbie for your long update. Know that I will be praying for the two youngest especially this week as they adjust to the grind of school with the burden of their Dad on their minds. Thank you also for the note on Elliott’s sermon. I will have the privilege of seeing him in Dallas this week myself. May the Lord continue to comfort you and Al in the midst of this incredible trial.

  7. Thomas Mak said,

    September 11, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Dear Al and Libbie,
    It was a delight to see both of you at the connovation at WTS on Thursday. Your presence is always an enouragement for us. The Lord is good, as always.

  8. Keallie Wozny said,

    September 11, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Dear Al, Libbie, and kids,
    I was not at all amazed as I read through the blog to see how very many lives the Groves family has touched. You have loved much and are much loved!

    We’ve been in Virginia for six years now and have been somewhat out of touch with many folks we still love up there, including y’all. We had a lovely visit last week from Nan Powlison, who told us of Al’s illness and directed us to the blog. Steve and I both shed many tears and also had some chuckles reading through it. You are blessed to be used as you are to show Christ to some who are ready to hear. What an honor! Your joy in the midst of suffering is such a testimony.

    Funny, it was only about a month ago that the kids and I were talking and a memory of you guys came to mind, the story of Alasdair carefully putting ketchup in the bottom of Libbie’s milk glass at dinner one night. He managed to pour in the milk without letting the ketchup mix in and Greg Gilliam noticed it as Libbie casually sipped away. Our boys just hooted about it! I think they were having visions of trying it on me!

    We’ll keep up with the blog and will be praying for all of you. I Thess 5:16-18
    Much love, Keallie

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