Dear Jack

February 9th, 2023

Karen: LifeList Wish Fulfilled!

Dear Jack,

Everything about this trip was amazing. These photos should give you a glimpse into our fun stay at Great Wolf Lodge!

Before leaving, a colleague said, “The trip doesn’t sound relaxing at all!” I thought to myself, “did I make the wrong LifeList wish? Should I have just gone to a spa by myself?” But once we were there, I knew I made the right choice. I’ll never get these days with my kids again. My kids are more independent but still young enough to do silly and fun things like this and these days are quickly passing by. It was busy, fun and despite the chaos at times – quite relaxing.

As I climbed the stairs to the water slides, I realized how fragile my body has become. How tired and weak it is for being 35. Yes, the water slide stairs are killer for any parents, but it’s no secret that my body can’t handle it like most. It was then I realized that I can always go to the spa, but sooner rather than later, my body won’t be able to handle the more physically challenging activities. Cancer has literally eaten away at some of my bones and will continue to do so until a cure is found. I have a good treatment plan right now that has slowed the progression down, but damage is already done and the pain is here – well managed but present nonetheless.

So, yes, this was the best choice of a wish, no regrets, because my kids and I can look back and fondly remember the time we went down these crazy water slides, screaming and laughing the entire time.

Everything about this week was amazing. 

We will remember the fireplace that kept the room toasty and fun. The bunk beds where the girls and I had late night talks, and Max’s pile of hundreds of stuffed animal friends he brought.  We will remember bowling and CC’s impressive score. We will remember nightly ice cream – one scoop really isn’t one scoop! We will remember mini golfing and our terrible scores.  We will remember the food and the endless Icees, brain freeze and all.

We will remember the fun of the arcade and the thrill of Reid winning 500 tickets, the excitement of Max getting a desired Yoshi plush in a claw machine on his first try, and the persistence and skills CC has with every game.  We will remember the mining experience and the hard hats with lights, the mirror maze and literally running into walls. We will remember that CC completed the Magicquest just in time and the sound of the star lighting up every time Max stood under it and waved his wand.

We will remember the silliness of eating plenty of eggs and omelets at the breakfast buffet because it’s $5 a carton at home. We will remember filling cups with jelly beans and gummies but taste testing each first. We will remember choosing the extra of everything because this was a bucket list trip and why not go big.

We will remember the absurdity of wearing wolf ears and matching “wolf pack” t-shirts as we did activities, we were one of THOSE families at a theme park (and I loved it). We will remember the togetherness and the love forever and for that I’m grateful.  The water park and hotel might have been busy with hundreds and hundreds of other families but it felt like just the five of us the entire time, and that’s how I feel like life’s been lately.


It’s the five of us – living and loving life together.


Thank you for making this dream come true.

Love & Grateful,

Karen (and Jon, Max, Catherine and Reid)

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