What would you do if you knew you only had three weeks to live?
Toronto, ON I don’t know how many times in the past several weeks I’ve seen my old Spanish abuela waddle home from the grocery store with canned goods. [Side: Oh, I probably should mention that since returning from Japan I have essentially been homeless (or is it homeful??) and literally floating (read: free loading) between my mother’s, aunt’s, and grandmother’s houses]. Now, my YaYa “never cooks with salt,” so buying excessive amounts of processed foods is odd for her, and she always makes sure to let me know the reason why she has brought such toxins into the house.
You see, my YaYa’s friend of a friend claims to have live conversations with God, and several weeks ago God warned her of a Moses-like plague headed straight for us this December. Naturally, this friend of a friend has taken great pains to warn a few of the people closest to her – she didn’t want to tell a lot of people as not to sound crazy – and so, my grandmother was fortunate enough to hear the warning through the grapevine.
So, I know you’re probably thinking this is just another Mayan calendar prediction, which states that the world is going to end on December 21st of this year, but it’s not. This one has an interesting twist! According to “God,” there will be three days of darkness in December. In those three days, if you leave your house, “you will never come back.” There will be something in the darkness that kills anyone who enters it, hence the reason my YaYa has been stocking the pantry.
Now, my YaYa, who is either turning 79 or 81 this February (a mistake made by the Canadian government when she immigrated to Canada, has made this biographical fact an unsolved family mystery), isn’t crazy. She’s still a regular historical and political pit bull, and will talk your ear off if you make the mistake of entering the TV room while she’s watching the news. However, she is starting to become forgetful with the mundane – like the fact she has told me this “darkness” story about ten times now, and every time for the first time! Although, my grandmother laughs when she tells this story, almost like she doesn’t believe it, she still makes a point to buy a few cans of food every time she goes shopping because, “Even if nothing happens, we will eat it anyway.”
She is also quick to get into an argument with me about how these the-end-is-nigh types are usually full of shit. “YaYa, everybody thinks the end of the world is going to happen because the Mayan calendar ends, or because Nostradamus predicted this or that, but these people were just people, and even if they had special abilities, it is physically impossible to predict all the events 4.5 billion years into the future. These people all had to die at some point.” Of course, once I say this my abuela stops laughing and points her bony Spanish finger at me, “You know something? Two years ago, two women came to my door, and told me that the world was going to end in two years.” She is, of course, referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses that continue to come to her house despite the fact that she is an unconvertible Catholic, so much so that her childhood dream was to be a nun!
My grandmother doesn’t seem to be the only one taking half-serious precautions for the end of the world. My mother has been “joking” for months that she is going to eat and do whatever she wants until December 22nd. “If the world doesn’t end on December 21st, then I’ll go on a diet!” Not sure who in their right mind would start a diet three days before Christmas, but I think you get the idea.
Since, according to many, we are now facing our last three weeks on Earth, it is fun to think of the things we would like to do, if we truly knew that our time was running out. For most of you true hockey addicts reading this site, you would probably max out your credit cards going to as many games as possible. I know I would be making sure that I finally checked those last 4 unvisited NHL rinks off my list! Unfortunately, the NHL and NHLPA have taken that option off the table. So, not only have we been hockey-less for 11 weeks, but we may also die hockey-less, too! Thanks, Don! Thanks, Gary!
Of course, I don’t actually believe the world is going to end on the 21st, but in the spirit of it all, I urge all of you to do one thing in the next three weeks with an authentic it’s now-or-never mentality. Jump out of an airplane! Send that love letter! Eat those carbs! And for the love of all things holy, if you have been one of those responsible types that got your university degree and haven’t stopped climbing the corporate ladder since, then get on that Last Night on Earth sex already, and find out what those of us, who have been wandering the globe, already know. Oh, Korea, sometimes I miss you!
P.S. If for some reason we DO have a blackout in December, then remember, you heard it here first! Oh, and you might want to stay inside LOL!