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Goodbye, Poppa Sye. Rest In Peace

It is with a very heavy heart I must announce the passing of my beloved grandfather.

Seymour Walter, otherwise known as, Poppa Sye.


I have so many wonderful memories of him and the times we shared together. Whether it was spending the summers with him and Manga in Florida, or getting to be there for him every single day, for the last three years in a row.

And I will cherish those moments, forever.

Like how he used to say:

“One bright day, in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.

Back to back; they faced each other.
Drew their swords and shot each other.

A deaf policeman heard the noise
came and shot those two dead boys.

A blind reporter saw it all,
And wrote the news upon the wall.


“I used to be behind before. But now, I’m first at last.”

*As per ‘Family Tradition’ I’d like to share the following story:

The Waterbug Story

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of waterbugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the waterbugs to another, one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she’s going?” Up, up, up it slowly went. Even as they watched, the waterbug disappeared from sight. It’s friends waited and waited but it didn’t return. “That’s funny!” said one waterbug to another,”Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second, “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the waterbugs gathered its friends together. “I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise,” they said solemnly.

One spring day not long after the very waterbug who had suggested the plan, found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and had fallen into the broad and free lily pad above. When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come over his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself above the water. He became a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest. That was when he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the waterbugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing sometime before.

Then the dragonfly remembered the promise. Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…. “I can’t return” he said in dismay. “At least I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.” And the dragonfly winged off happily into a wonderful new world of sun and air.

Poppa Sye became a dragonfly on December 12, 2011 at 10:40am and I’m so glad. Because now he can soar as high as he wants to, along with his wife Dorothy and still watch us through the pond which separates us. I feel a great peace in knowing that one day we’ll be together on the same lily pad, soaking up the warm rays of the sun.

*Most of you have come to know, and love my Poppa Sye, simply through this blog. You’ve seen his photos and you’ve read his stories. He was an extraordinary man. I am blessed to have had him in my life. I will never forget the life lessons he taught me.

I would like to believe he’s in heaven, dancing once again, with his only True Love.

The following Video Tribute is how I will always remember him….


PS: These are my favorite Poppa Sye blog posts:

Random Acts Of Kindness

My Grandmother Manga, And A True Love Story

Why I’m Definitely Going To “Burn In Hell” – For All Of Eternity

Hurricane Irene and Poppa Sye


I will miss you, Poppa Sye.

I love you.

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  • xoxoxoxoxox

  • So sorry for you loss Mel. I just went and read the details of his hospitalization in your previous post. Going to read the comments here to see if you specify what exactly he passed away from. He certainly was a fighter…ho-ly…I always loved your posts featuring Poppa Sye.

  • Ferd

    Oh, Meleah, I am saddened to know your dear Poppa Sye is gone! 🙁
    You were very present in each others lives, and you have some wonderful memories indeed. Those are great things!
    Big hug!

  • Meleah, I’m so sorry for your loss. Poppa Sye truly lived a full life, and was surrounded by people who loved him right up until the end/new beginning. I’m sending you and your family love and light. xoxo

  • What a beautiful beautiful post…. the story…. oh my goodness.  I read every word… re-read… I loved it.  And of course tears.  My thoughts are with you Meleah!

  • Thanks, Sandra.

    This was his second stroke in two years.
    At 91 years old, he had a good run, a wonderful life, and died at home, surrounded by love.
    Just the way he wanted to.

  • Thank you, Ferd.

    It’s very strange NOT seeing him every day.
    It’s going to take time to get used to this.

  • You’re the best.
    Thanks, Steph.

  • xoxoxoxo

  • Anonymous

    thanks for sharing poppa sye with us. my fav pic was of him standing next to a motorcycle, very cute. 


  • Thank you, Valerie.

  • Jay

    Oh, Meleah, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you will miss him SO much.  🙁

    I do love the waterbug story.  It’s such a beautiful allegory, and so nice to think of our own dear departed flying above the surface with their new wings in their new lives.


  • Thank you so much, Jay!

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  • Mike Conway

    As usual, I’m late to getting around to catching up on posts.  Very sorry to hear about your loss.  Poppa Sye sounds like an amazing guy.  Your video tribute was beautiful.

  • Thank you, Mike.

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