My dad tried once to reconcile with Mother. She was not interested. I didn't see or hear from him again. Occasionally his parents would "drop by" from Dallas, TX for a visit. Invariably insults about Mother or Grandma would arise. Grandma was a spitfire in their presence. She had good reason to be. Otherwise, she was pretty docile and fun loving.
When I entered the first grade that year, The Quillin's sued Mother for custody of us. They made claims about how unkept we were, running footloose through the countryside, unfed, dirty clothes, not being properly educated, etc.
Once they made Grandma so mad, she told them to get off her front porch and leave. They refused. She threatened to get her shot gun after them. She didn't have one but they didn't know that so they left. We were on the porch, too, standing behind Grandma. Grandma was my hero. She stood up for us!
I didn't understand it all. Still don't. I understood then they were trying to take me from my mother. That instilled a great deal of fear, anxiety, dismay, sadness, etc. in me. Mother was my safety blanket.
Sometime in 1967 the court ruled against The Quillin's. My dad didn't want us but his parents sure did. They thought they could raise us better than Momma. They could have looked at their own son and realized the lie they told themselves.
When they failed, they again sued Mother for custody but only for my older brother and me not my older sister. We looked like The Quillin's.
I understood then they were trying to take me not only from my mother but my sister, too. Again, I was terrified because not only was I a Momma's Girl, I was a Sister's Girl, too.
Sometime during the winter of my 2nd grade year, The Quillin's lost once and for all. It was such a relief to me I found my 1st grade teacher making her rounds during recess to tell her the good news. She had been involved somehow in the case as my 1st grade teacher. I told her I was not going to be taken away from my mother or my sister. I was going to stay right where I was. What a relief! I was happy about that and the stress was gone.
I didn't understand then why The Quillin's disliked Mother so much. I don't today. Mother was a sweetie pie.
The explanation given during that horrible time and every time after it was brought up was, "They did it all in the name of the church." It was all done "because of the church" or "all that because of the church" or some variation of that theme.
Grandfather and Grandmother Quillin attended a Church of Christ in East Dallas called Mt. Auburn. At that time, the Church of Christ believed and taught that only they were going to Heaven. Further, out of all the Church of Christ, Mt. Auburn people were the only ones going to Heaven.
They must have believed themselves to truly be an elite group of folks and The Quillin's were part of it. Mother, being Southern Baptist, must have been a real disappointment and such a pitiful soul to them.
That caused a great deal of confusion and distrust in me about religion and the church. I understood Mother's church and beliefs were different. Yet, some churches taught stuff that ultimately harmed kids and were to be distrusted and viewed with a very skeptical eye.
I have a distrust of religion but I trust my Lord Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: I have been told the Church of Christ has changed and is not the church of my grandparents.