Dearest Darling Friends,
I had to go to play a concert in Bombay about 15 days back and I always told him where I was playing or travelling too…because he always wanted to know how our lives were shaping up and what’s going on!
That day he told all the nurses to leave the room for a while as he said, “I WANT TO TALK TO MY SON ALONE…”
My father Rev Verus Shipley’s health was not good. He had recently been treated for a brain clot and many vital organs were functioning only at 30%. He had lived a life of surrender, service and contribution for close to 70+ years.
He said as he held my hand..TO PROMISE HIM!!
“VAL, MY SON, PLEASE LET ME GO BECAUSE I WANT TO. ALL THE WORK THAT YOUR MOM AND ME HAVE CREATED OVER THE YEARS I GIVE TO YOU AS YOUR LEGACY…THIS WORK NEEDS TO BE BUILT UP FURTHER. BE IT MUSIC, SETTING UP HOSPITALS, HELPING POOR AND NEEDY…
YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR TWO SISTERS AS WELL AS NOW YOU WILL BE THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY.”
HE SAID TO BE PATIENT AND NOT DO ANYTHING IN ANGER.
He then shared a personal desire…”WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES, ON MY FINAL JOURNEY, YOU PICK UP THAT GUITAR OF YOURS AND SING FOR ME…”
I had to do so when they got his body home…I sat next to him and sang his favorite hymns. I did the same, next day, for his funeral.
I told myself..”Val this is your trial by FIRE. If you could pull this one through, then, you are ready for anything in this world…”
I stood there and sang for his funeral. To see a chapel full of people with tears, his open coffin in front of me…my family members present…it indeed was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life…I pulled through. I did break down few times but never stopped singing. That’s because when he mentioned about me carrying his legacy, I had said, “DAD YOU ARE PUTTING TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON ME.”
He had winked, smiled and said..”THIS IS WHY GOD BOUGHT YOU INTO OUR LIVES AND INTO THIS WORLD…”
I was teary eyed then, speechless then and teary eyed even now.
We told all our friends and family who came home during this precious time, “There will be no tears here as we do not mourn but CELEBRATE the life of our Dad.”
The number of phone calls / messages / mails we three brother and sisters have got after dads news spread across the world is in excess of 20,000..quite phenomenal.
With that, the curtains came down on an awesome era and life of our Dad.
“REV.VERUS SHIPLEY” lovingly called as “GINGER”.
He touched millions of lives across the world. He mentored, helped, counseled, prayed for people for over 70 yrs.
RIP DAD…He was a ‘PRAYER WARRIOR”. I am blessed, proud and humbled to be in his.
Dear Darling Readers,
My friend and our Life Schooler, the famed Valentine Shipley, lost his father a few days ago. Missing him was indeed a blow. However, as the news spread, people spoke up about the IMPACT Rev Verus Shipley has on the lives of fellow people.
That has stunned the children. They realized, they were living with a legend all their life.
20,000 + mails, messages, phone calls! What a life he lived!!!
Feeling blessed to know Val. We will always be grateful to Val for sharing a intimate part of his illustrious father’s life with us.
Our promise to Val – “We will strive to make this world a better place to live in so that the work of people like Rev Verus Shipley does not go in vain. Val, that’s a promise.”
We pray, may this LSM ignite in us a desire to create a positive IMPACT in this world.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
As I live…I learn