My mother, out of the blue it seemed, inflicted (to my thinking) a particularly arbitrary type of cruelty on her mother.
"Mama, I know you love me, but you love Barry best," she would say. She spoke the phrase often and without apparent provocation. I thought it cruel and unnecessary and untrue. Grandma loved everyone equally, dispensing candy and cookies and cakes to the deserving; mercy on the undeserving.
Sort of like God.
I've come to understand my mother's position clearly, now that she is a grandmother. I have been replaced, completely and with little ceremony.
I have embraced cruelty.