Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hubs and the hammer

Yes, that's a hammer.  To most it's just a useful tool.  For my hubs, it is his prized possession.  That's right.  The hammer above is worth more to my husband than anything.  Why?  Well, here's the story...

Chuck grew up in a small-ish (but now is 1,000 times bigger) town.  Growing up, he had a handful of friends.  His best friend was the kid across town named Fred*.  Fred and Chuck hung out all the time.  They were on the same sports teams, were always at each others homes.  When I first started dating Chuck in college, the very first person he introduced me to was Fred.  Not his parents, Fred.  Fred is a funny, witty and all around nice guy.   As Chuck and I grew closer, Fred was right along for the ride.  To some extent, it almost felt like there were 3 people in our relationship.  I was okay with that.  Fred went with Chuck to pick out my wedding set and even took part in hiding the ring until the perfect momentFred, obviously, was the best man for the wedding.

Now, how does this hammer play into all this?  Well, Chuck and I lived together for about 2 years prior to getting married (shock, I know ;-)).  At one point, we needed a hammer and didn't have one.  Chuck mentioned this at Fred's house one afternoon and Fred's Dad(George*) disappeared into the garage.  He came back about a minute later holding the hammer above.  He told Chuck to keep it and put it to good use. 

Then exactly 3 weeks before we got married, George suddenly passed away.  We panicked.  Was Fred up to still being best man.  Should we postpone our wedding because honestly, it was like Chuck lost a member of his family too.  He referred to George as his "second" Dad.  It was a very, very difficult time for all of us.  On the afternoon of the funeral, Fred's Mom came up to us and told us not to postpone the wedding.  She said George was so happy that we were getting married and was looking forward to the wedding, that for his memory we should go on.  We decided to do just that.

Then about 6 months later we needed to use a hammer and I pulled this one out.  Right then Chuck broke down.  He just stood there holding the hammer with tears almost ready to fall.  Then he sighed and started the project.  While swinging the hammer though, the wood on the handle split.  Chuck then headed to the store to pick up a new hammer.  He came back with not only a new hammer, but also a new handle for the old one.  Now, I realize that all sounds pretty normal, but I wanted to share what I found this weekend while poking around in the tool box for a nail.

Yup, that's the handle.  The broken one.  It still has the smudges from the years that George used it before it became our own.  When I stumbled upon it, my heart ached.  I saw a side of my own husband I didn't know.  It was upon finding this broken handle that I realized how much George truly meant to Chuck.  I was touched more than words can express.

*names have been changed, so if you know their real ones, please don't use them on here.  Thanks!


  1. Andrea@mommyconfessionsblogDecember 9, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    I am sure that *George is looking down and smiling. You know what else. I bet *Fred would like to know this also. I am just saying.
    As I was reading it I was like who the heck if *Fred now realizing it was an alias. Then I was like DUHHH...

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kandi Barnes, andrea mann. andrea mann said: This goes deeper than a man and his tools. [...]

  3. Your hubs has a depth that I've only glimpsed a few times before you came, Kandi. You've definately drawn it out of him! Having known Fred and George and Hubs and how close they were, it doesn't surprise me that Hubs kept the handle. I'm glad that he has such a sentimental side!

  4. Very touching story Kandi!! Ours hubbys can really surprise us sometimes!!