A beginning…

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 1:12 pm by Libbie

Well, by now itís been so long since I wrote anything on the blog that I have way too much to write. So, knowing that Iíll never come up with enough time to write it all at a sitting (and who would want to read that long an epistle anyway?), Iíve decided to try to take one chunk at a time and see if I can get things written that way. Today Iíll start with Alís medical condition, since thatís probably what is of most interest to most people.

Things seem to be pretty steady and stable. In fact, my impression is that this last 5-6 days Al has even felt a little better, and I think he would agree with that assessment. He had a very full week last week and survived it pretty well.

He coughs up blood, but not all the time, and recently what he has brought up has not always even been bloody. Maybe that has to do with the current adjustment of blood thinner? (Every week he gets his blood tested on Tuesday morning, and if the levels are too low or too high the doctor adjusts the dose of coumadin he takes, balancing the need for thin blood to prevent further clotting in his legs and the need for thicker blood to prevent dangerous bleeding in his lungs and brain.)

His headaches have not been too bad, and neither has his stomach discomfort. Everything he eats disagrees with him, but only mildly, and he figures that since it all affects him the same way, he might as well eat what appeals to him. In fact, yesterday a friend of ours from church who is an oncology nurse and who has a family and busy schedule of his own generously came by at our request and spent a chunk of the morning to talk about the physical process of dying, answer some questions and outline what we can expect physiologically and medically in that process. He talked about loss of appetite and other things, and while he was here the people from out or town who were coming by for lunch called to see what to pick up, and Al requested a cheese steak hoagie with oil, mayo, peppers, etc. Mike (the nurse) just shook his head and laughed, saying, ďThis dying process sure seems pretty far away, listening to Al.Ē Mike’s input, information, and advice from personal experience and medical training were very helpful to us.

Al still gets tired and needs to rest a lot, but itís amazing what he was able to do last week in spite of it. We had a doctorís appointment downtown on Monday. Tuesday he had a blood test and later an MRI (no results yet), and in the evening he was able to attend a dinner with the board and faculty of Westminster and even sit in on a couple hours of the board meeting. It blessed him to see each of the board members in person. Wednesday he attended a faculty dinner, and Thursday and Friday a college friend from Cleveland came to see Al, which was a great treat. Yesterday, as I mentioned, friends came from out of town for lunch and then in the evening there was a dinner for the elders of our church that we were thankful to be able to go to. By the end of the full week Al was wiped, but Iím amazed that his stamina held for all of it.

So, all in all, things seem to be on a fairly even plateau at the moment, with even a slight upturn the last few days. Weíll take it! Of course we donít want to take these good days for granted or assume they will continue indefinitely, but we are certainly grateful for them and enjoying them for however long the Lord chooses to give them.

Okay, I better run, but at least we got started. As Iím able, Iíll write more about other aspects of life for those who are interested. Then again, I MUST get the Christmas shopping started one of these daysÖ

Love you all,



  1. Amy Givler said,

    December 10, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    We’re so glad to hear about the “steady state”. I’ve been praying for you a lot. “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” (Ps. 71:14)
    With love!

  2. Ray & Judy Parnell said,

    December 10, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you Libbie for continuing to keep us updated. It is certainly a blessing to the Parnells and I’m sure for everyone else keeping up with the Groves through the blog. (Thanks to the administrator who is making this possible!) Glad that Al was able to do all he did last week. Sure it was a blessing to everyone at Westminster to have him there.

    We love you both and as Al would say,

    Ray & Judy

  3. Thomas and Rena Mak said,

    December 10, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    It is unthinkabel to prepare dying. Thanks God for His provision with many means around you to prepare you and your family. Glad to see you in worship this morning. It is a blessing.

  4. Mark A. Stone said,

    December 11, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Libbie, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to keep us posted on Al’s progress. I am very thankful for the saints (the Seminary, the Church elders, and believing friends) that Al was able to get out and about last week. His wisdom, his example of gracefully accepting God’s sever mercy, and his faithful wife challenge and encourage the saints to embrace Christ even more than they currently are. Thanks. Please keep us posted as we continue to lift you, Al, and the family up in our prayers.

  5. Jonathan Inman said,

    December 11, 2006 at 10:35 am


    Next time you send out for lunch, please have Al order one of those cheesesteak hogies for me! Does Rocky’s ship overnight?



    PS – And a chocolate milkshake?

  6. Mark Stivers said,

    December 11, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Libby and Al. Thanks for this site and the updates. We continue to pray that God’s will is done and that the peace of God will rest over your house and your lives.

    God is being glorified in your lives! Keep the faith and let us know if there is anything we can do.


  7. Mabel & Phillip Hui said,

    December 11, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Al and Libby,
    We praise God for your example of living each and every day by the Power and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We continue to pray for God’s Mercy and Grace to be poured out to you and your family. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we pray that this will be a wonderful time for you and your family as we are reminded of the hope and comfort he brings as we are united to Him.

    May God Bless Your Day,
    In His Love,
    Phillip & Mabel
    Sarah, Grace & Kaitlyn

  8. Paul Koptak said,

    December 13, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    Al and Libby,

    I’m glad to hear about the gift of these good days (with steak hoagie, no less). The reflections on Psalms 22 and 23 spoke with great depth and power. I continue in prayer with you all.

    Paul Koptak

  9. Harry Reeder said,

    December 14, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Dear Al and Libbie,
    Grace and peace. Al I greatly enjoyed the time at the meal and fellowship at the WTS board meeting. Your insights into the Scripture, life, death and ministry were deeply appreciated. Your Love and trust in your Savior both encouraging and challenging. Please be assured of our continued intercession for both of you and your family. May the glory and strength of the Saviour fill your heart even as He rejoices over you.. Zeph. 3:17
    Admiringly and gratefully for Christ in you and the Hope of Glory through you.
    Grace and peace

  10. Julie Kong said,

    December 14, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Dear Libbie, Al, and everyone,

    Thank you for the update – we were hoping that no news meant you were occupied with “steady” things. We are definitely interested in reading about other aspects of life, especially when you write them! Makes us see through the glass less darkly.
    Today I came across one of my favorite poems:

    Earth’s crammed with heaven,
    And every common bush afire with God;
    But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
    The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Love to you-

  11. Bill Snodgrass said,

    December 14, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Dear Prof. Groves and Mrs. Groves:

    I am so happy to read of Mr. Groves’ appetite for cheesesteaks, but even more to read of the appetite that you both continue to have for the One who satisfies a much greater craving:

    Luke 6:21 (ESV)
    “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
    “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

    In Christian love,
    Bill Snodgrass

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