Speak Softly and Carry a Big Heart

A friend who passed away several years ago was about 30 years older than me and lived large right up until his passing. He loved to surf and did so decades beyond when most people stop doing such strenuous activities. He looked more like a retired businessperson than a surfer.

Mel was soft spoken and a real gentleman. He had a mustache and an impish grin. For many years after his retirement he tutored students to help them become successful in subjects on which they were struggling. He could be tough but tempered it with love.

He had a saying that I’ll never forget:

“Speak softly and carry a big heart.”

He not only said those words, he lived by them. They are part of a legacy of love that he left with so many people whose lives he touched. Mel, and his legacy, will be remembered long after he is gone.

I’m glad Mel was in my life. I’m a better man because he was.

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Attittude, Friendship, Gratitude, Growth/Learning, LIfe Lessons, Love, Making the World a Better Place, Quotes I Love, True Stories I've Written and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Speak Softly and Carry a Big Heart

  1. lovely tribute and it seems you took it to heart judging by your posts.

  2. Cathy Ulrich says:

    And he lives on in your heart and ours!

  3. Pingback: Friday Pick 6 « talktodiana

  4. Diana sent me…and now I’m staying.

  5. jensine says:

    thanks for the lovely words … thinking of my dad today who died last year so am grateful for teh quote 🙂

  6. nyparrot says:

    May Mel rest in peace!

  7. Lovely tribute. Really fine post.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Naomi. Welcome!


    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Naomi! I have yu on a list of blogs I want to get back to, and plan to do so as I work through a backlog after having been mostly offline for about 10 days. It’s amazing how fast a backlog grows! Or should I say “Backblog”? ;-D!


      • Oh, man, I know how that goes! I am attending a writing conference and building up a huge “backblog.” Thanks for the sweet words. I look forward to visiting your blog too when I get home.

        • russtowne says:

          I hope you learn a lot at the writer’s conference as I plan be able to learn from your example.

          I hope you have a lot of fun and I’ll try not to add too much to your backlog while you’re gone. (Kidding!) Backlog can be a good thing if one has patient readers. And I am. If I wasn’t patient I’d be a hypocrite considering how big my backlog has become despite a lot of time being invested in shrinking it. Thank goodness for patient readers!

  8. JanBeek says:

    Your tribute to Mel touched my heart. I was blessed with a soft-spoken Dad who carried a big heart. Thanks for reminding me of those attributes I loved so much about him. Maybe Mel and Sal were introduced at the Pearly Gates. They would have become instant friends!

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