It was certainly not our plan to return to Birmingham on our way to Minnesota for the summer, however, with the passing of Kal’s father our plans were quickly changed. We pulled the RV east from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Birmingham to assist with all the details of settling the estate. The trip itself was uneventful since it was all along I-59, although long being nearly 4 hours in length. We pulled into an old KOA campground south of Birmingham in Pelham, Birmingham South RV Park. This location was extremely convenient as it was less than 10 mile south of I-459 and about 20 minutes from Kal’s parents house when the traffic was not slowed to a crawl.
It was a good idea to have two weeks as it took nearly that long to deal with all the details of the estate. Except for the funeral on Saturday and taking Sunday off, we were busy every day. Kal’s brother, Phil, had already dealt with the funeral home to arrange for her father’s cremation, so we picked it up from there. Over the next two weeks we found and met with a lawyer, found and met with a CPA about the back taxes, obtained the death certificates and got them sent to the the VA and State Farm for the life insurance policies, planned the funeral, and went through all the documents collected over the years. We were able to determine that her father had not filled income taxes since 2011 do a good bit of my time was spent in going through bank records to recreate his federal and state income tax burden since then. We have requested all the income documents from the federal government to make sure there are no surprises and are still waiting for those to come in to finish his taxes. Other then that we left after two weeks with just a few details for Phil to complete. All in all it was a very busy two weeks that would have taken months to take care of if we had not been able to devote full time to it.
The funeral was on Saturday, which meant we had family visiting from all over. Jenny drove up from Florida, William flew to Asheville and came along with Nikki and Chris. We all met at the house Friday afternoon and all the grandchildren were able to spend the evening together at the local bowling alley. They had a great time now that they are all old enough to go without parental oversight. This also gave time for the parents to visit and remember their missing mom and dad. We met Nikki, Chris, William, and Jared for breakfast before coming back to the RV to get ready for the funeral on Saturday. The funeral was a small affair with immediate family and friends and was very nice. We sang hymns, heard some good stories, and heart felt words from the grandchildren. After the ceremony, we retired back to the house for an afternoon of food and socializing one more time as a family. Most of my memories of Kal’s parents center around these family gatherings for holidays throughout the years and it was great to have the experience one more time in Birmingham. You may note that there was not a burial ceremony since this will occur later in Liberal, Kansas. Plans are to gather again in early June in Kansas, so our plans are to be in Kansas City so we can assist getting Kal’s aunt and uncle to Liberal for the burial.