At the end of your life, you’ll be able to look back and remember all of the people who had a lasting impact on you. You’ll reminisce about good times with friends, colleagues, significant others, and even pets. Memories from years past will make you both laugh and cry. But there will be a group of people who are sure to stand out: your family. You may not have always realized it, but they never left your side. They saw you through the ups and downs of life and loved you in spite of your mistakes. It’s key for us to recognize how important they are to us -- and vice versa -- so we can make sure to give them the thanks they deserve. So, here are eleven reasons why family is everything (and why they should know it).

1. They have been there from the beginning. Who was there when you were born? They were! They are the only people in the world who can say they’ve known you from your first day in the world and loved you even then.

2. They’ve watched you grow up. They were there for your first steps and first words. They dressed you in embarrassing clothes and made sure to take hundreds of pictures. They cried when they sent you off to your first day of school. What weren’t they there for?

3. They know what makes you tick. If you don’t already know it, I’m here to tell you that your family can read you like an open book. It’s kind of creepy. They know everything about you -- your likes, dislikes, embarrassing secrets, hopes and dreams, you name it. And they can tell whether you’re happy or sad. It’s almost like they’re psychic.

4. They’ve seen you at your best... They were there for all your grade schools plays, dance recitals, sports games … everything. They saw you graduate from high school and celebrated with you when you got into college! Life is just one big party when they’re around.

5. …And your worst. But, when life doesn’t go our way, they're still there for us. They comforted us when we were sad and set us straight when we were out of line. They’ve seen it all and always know just what to say.

6. They even loved you through your awkward phase. Yep. Braces, clunky glasses, awkward haircuts … they didn’t care. (Make sure to say thanks for that.)

7. They’ve sacrificed so much for you. Just think about all of the money and time they spent/are still spending on you. Two words: college tuition.

8. But, you can still go to them for anything. They’re still there for you, and they’re more than willing to lend a helping hand. If you ever hit a wall, you can be sure they will be there to help you get back on your feet. There’s never a shortage of compassion or understanding when it comes to your family.

9. They’ve helped you along the way. Just look at how far you’ve come since you were a little kid. You couldn’t have done it if they hadn’t pushed you to be your best. Your mom nagging you to “do your homework” paid off after all, didn’t it?

10. They’ll always have your back (as well as great advice). No matter what, they’ll always be there for you. As you continue to go through life, you’ll always be able to turn to them and ask for guidance. They’ve gone through anything and everything that might be going on in your life, so who’s better to turn to?

11. They love you unconditionally. No matter what you do. That kind of love is hard to come by, so hold it close and never let it go! (It’s not like you’d have a choice anyway.)

No matter your age or where you are in life, one of the most important things in the world is family. So, never take them for granted, know that you can always turn to them … and tell them how much you love them today!