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Challenge: What Do Fathers Do Best?

Poppa Can Fix Anything

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My grandfather was a magically person. He was the constant, strong father figure in my life. My biological father had no interest in being a dad. My stepfather went from doting to volatile depending on how much he drank in a day, but my Poppa was my rock.

Poppa had two very unique gifts – he made every person he came into contact with feel special. Ask any one of his co-workers, grandkids, children, nieces or nephews who was his favorite and each one of them would say, “ I was. It was me.

Poppa could also fix anything. From boilers to cars, to vacuum cleaners to Barbie dolls and Star Wars figures, there was nothing he couldn’t mend. He worked in his massive garage on things like bikes or pieces of furniture that neighbors had discarded until they were new again. There was something reassuring, as a kid anyway, to have someone in your life who was so handy.


As I grew, I soon came to realize that my Poppa could fix so much more than broken objects. He was the mediator in family disagreements. He helped loved ones through financial difficulties. I watched him get people jobs by making some calls. Nothing was out of his reach.

Poppa was the person I went to when I felt lost or needed reassurance. I cried on his shoulder during my parents divorce. I ran to him when I found out I didn’t get into my dream art school. He had a way of making me feel safe, loved and hopeful.

My husband shares my grandfather’s Mr. Fix It gift. From lamps to my favorite velvet chair and everything in between, there’s nothing he can’t repair. Our son realizes this too. Broken Thomas trains, Legos, art projects chewed on by our puppy, all go on the kitchen counter waiting for Daddy to come home and work his magic on them.

And just like Poppa, my husband’s mending abilities go far beyond the physical stuff. It’s only a matter of time before our son discovers that his Dad can truly fix anything.

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