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  • This is yet another day where my father sends me random messages on this chat app.
    we talk like that, with me here in Deutschland and he and my mother in the Philippines, looking after the son that i left them with. He sends me random things on chat. Sometimes with pictures accompanied with messages, sometimes without, not even a description.
    So today he sent me three pictures; one was that of a brown cow, and two were a photo of the work they are are doing with the farm's expansion.
    In those two pictures, i see a dead tree.
    I remember planting several trees in that farm four summers ago--all of us children, the grandchildren and in laws, we planted a crateful of trees all over the farm. My father was trying to start a tradition.

    I suspected the dead tree was a casualty of the very dry summer that's just passed, and i wasn't sure if it was one of those trees we planted.

    This summer, my sister and her family decided not to come home for the holidays. Things have changed and she might not come home as often as before. She used to be very close to both parents, our dad, especially and no matter how many times she tries to justify it, I still do think our parents love her more than the rest of us children. I am saying this not out of spite but because it is true; it is true for all first borns. I strongly feel parents would always have these special feelings for their first born, just because. First borns are milestones, milestones of life going downhill or going sky high.

    Somehow, after spending this year's year-end holidays at my parents' house, my sister left with a heavy heart and a head full of question. I suspect that it's the complexity of first-born privilege and the expectations that come with it that made the holiday very murky, complicated and difficult. I was expecting the distance would heal all wounds, like they were always believed to be, and that her relationship with our parents would improve and we will all go back to the ordinariness of every day. Apparently, that cliche proved to be false in this case and my sister's relationship with our parents, our dad in particularly, has deteriorated then on.

    Last i know, the internet and this cellular transmission were witness to very hurtful chat messages and SMS exchanges between them.
    The negative vibes has even reached my little fortress here in Deutschland; it came to a point that I was asked to choose sides. I disengaged before it could happen knowing if i went with it, i would get to the point of no return. My siblings and I are getting older and our parents are getting weaker. Choosing sides does not seem like the best option for a win-win situation.

    My dad was excited about the cow. He said it was for one of his grandchildren. He will teach them how to tend cow. Nevermind that in a few months the little monsters that he so loved now will move back to the City. He was describing the cow and I interrupted him
    I asked my dad about the tree. He replied, "Yes, it is your sister's tree. It didn't survive the heat of summer."

    I see the dead tree and I think of how the universe aligns and resolves itself.
    I suppose it is for the better.
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