I knew that someday I would be a dad. I can't explain why, I just knew. And when I did, I wanted to be a dad like my father. When I was growing up, I honestly didn't know why all of my friends thought ole Sarge (my nickname for him) was so cool. They always wanted to come over to hang over at my house and when they got there, they usually thought not only my dad was cool, but they also thought my mom was awesome too. I now see why. They are the most awesome people that I have ever met and I owe everything to them. I decided to write this sappy entry just so going forward when I talk about my mom or dad, everyone knows how special they are to me.
My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. At the time, I HATED moving around and not really growing up in one place or having a hometown. I would 'get in a groove' with friends at wherever we were at and then my dad would let my sister and I know that we were moving soon. I have lived in Hampton, VA (birthplace), Germany, Colorado, and Nebraska (where I graduated from high school). Now I see that living all of those places actually benefited me. I got to see places and things that a lot of people my age didn't get a chance to see. It also made my family extremely close because the only thing that really stayed constant was our family unit. I actually have my dad to thank for my love of basketball and sports. It was our way of communicating to each other. When I started watching bball, I would ask my dad all kinds of questions about sports and bball and he would answer them knowing that I was interested. 'When guys shoot the basketball and make it....is it luck?' you know....questions like that! We didn't really watch too much football but we watched basketball. College basketball to be more specific. Even when Michael Jordan was running the sports world on the court, my dad would still rather watch the college kids play. For a long time I would also. Sarge just had this way about him. If he ever got frustrated about anything, he didn't show it in front of my sister and I. He always was cool. Because of our last name being Cannady, his nickname was....wait for it....Candy Man! My mom still calls him this from time to time. He acts annoyed when she does, but I can tell he still thinks of himself as this. My dad wasn't a big talker of things he was going to do. He mainly was a doer. I remember one time, before basketball season, all of my friends got their shoes for the season and were flaunting them, while I still had my last year joints on. I would complain in the car and at home and my dad usually would ignore me or just give me the 'mmmhmm' type nod. Well, the night before the first game, I got in the car and the shoe box with the hottest shoe in the game then (I'm showing my age....they were the Converse 'Light'...this was pre Larry Johnson and his ugly ass Converse shoes) I couldn't believe it! He also made it a big point to sneak and watch me play bball anytime I played it. I also remember getting upset with him and being a moody teenager and saying 'Why do you have to watch ALL of my games? I'm the only one who can't be himself on the court because you're always there!' I don't remember his reaction, but I'm sure his feelings may have been hurt. I instantly regretted it, because I knew he actually enjoyed watching me play. Side note: he also coached my in my eighth grade year. Him and my cousin Lamont were the coaches and they were really good. I scored a lot and my dad also made me play the 2 guard position even though I was one of the tallest kids on the team! 'I hope you're paying attention, because that's probably what you're going to play when you get older' I remember him saying. I got over him coming to all of my games and I would start looking around to make sure he was there after a while. Fast forward to my life today, I can't really put into words what his teachings and actions have meant to my life. He showed me that you have to be a good man and husband and father. He taught me (through his actions) to be dependable and to work hard. I got a lot of qualities (good and bad). My dad can't stand to get disrespected AT ALL and that is probably the main thing I got from him (other than my good looks!). I am normally a pretty nice person, but if I feel like you are disrespecting me, boy.....I react. This even applies to Trey and Eliet. I have yelled at them before because I thought they were taking advantage of me or Ayren. Ayren knows all about this! To wrap it up, my dad is my hero and probably one of my best friends. I still think its funny that his family calls him 'Bobby' and that he used to run the streets as a 'Raleigh Killa'!
My momma. Boy, if you know me, you KNOW I'm a momma's boy. I know it, she knows, my wife knows it, my sister knows it, etc etc. I have heard people say before that they don't think women are funny but I knew that was untrue because my mom is the funniest person I know.....and I know some characters...trust me. She is also the most loving, kind, big hearted person I have ever met (well....along with Ayren). For a long time, believe it or not, I didn't look my dad, I looked my my mom. People knew when they saw us together that we were like two peas and a pod. One of my fondest memories was when we were living in Germany and for whatever reason, I just wasn't feeling school that day, so I acted sick and had them call my mom to come get me. She probably could tell I was faking, but she didn't feel like going through the whole bs routine with the school nurse, so she let me come home. She had to do something that day though and I was too young to leave at home, so she took me with her. I was breakdancing and jumping around and I remember her saying 'Oh, you are sick huh?' I still smile at that. You guys know I'm honest so I will say that I didn't have that many girlfriends when I coming up, but even the ones I had, if they were a little 'shaky' I wouldn't want them to meet my mom because I only wanted her to meet girls I thought was really special. She tried to drop hints that she wanted to meet anyone, but I value her opinion that much. I still do. Ayren and my mom probably don't remember this, but I knew Ayren was the one when my mom asked Ayren to help her make some stuff for one of my parents legendary BBQ's that they have at the house. Ayren was this young college girl and I was afraid of what was going to happen, but Ayren jumped right in and helped. My grandmother Lucille was there also. Ayren probably doesn't know this, but she's the only girlfriend of mine that met either of my grandmothers. I have to also admit that I owe most of my adult success to my mom. You see, coming out of high school, I was a knuclehead that didn't really follow through with trying to get into college. So when we moved to North Carolina from Nebraska, I was so out of touch, I thought all I would have to do is get an 'ok' SAT and schools would want me to come there. I was REALLY wrong. And when all of my first choice schools rejected me, my mom got to work! She was calling around to get everything I needed and I eventually got a promise from Fayetteville State that if I passed this one math class in Summer school that they would take me. Once I finally passed that class and was enrolled at FSU, I remember going to see Mr. Darlington (RIP) to thank him for helping me get into FSU, he was like 'Oh no no no! I hope you thanked your momma! That women was ON ME to get you in this school! She saw to it that you got your education. I hope you repay her by graduating!' Well, it took me an extra year to do it and a certain female to get me one the right path, but I did graduate. Like my father, my mom is my hero and one of my best friends and we have an awesome relationship. We both say things to each other that hurt each other feelings, but we always laugh our way back into our good graces. My mom also taught me hard work and that people aren't just going to hand things to you. If you saw me stand next to my mom, you would probably be like 'That's your mom? She's so little next to you' I'm 6'2 and a half and I think she is maybe 5'3! and I love her to death.
This blog post ended up a lot longer than I was planning it out to be, but this was my ode to my parents. My mom and my dad again are my absolute heroes and I wanted everyone who happen (maybe no one will....) to read this to know how important they are to me. I always tell people, you can say anything you want about me...crack on my clothes, crack on anything....but you DO NOT mention my parents, Ayren, Trey or Eliet and even my sister. I will react! Now that I have kids of my own, I see and feel there love for me even more. There were somethings that I didn't understand when I was growing up that they did...like my dad wearing out of date sneakers....but I see it now and I love and thank them.
Remember to take care of yourselves
- John Cannady