To my cousins,

Let me start off by saying I love you. I couldn't imagine my life without you, and I never want to. I can remember the day most of you were born, I remember holding you for the first time. You are the sisters I never had and the extra little brother I always secretly wanted. I find that all my favorite childhood memories include all of us, together during Christmas time. I remember all of us running around and eating all the food before the party even started, and I remember all of us getting sick because we ate so much.

In my mind, you are more than just cousins. You are my right hand, my shoulder to cry on, my ride or die. I remember talking about my first breakup with all of you, I was genuinely scared for that boy's life. So, to the next boy that breaks my heart, all I have to say is good luck. Thank you for being there for me when I need you the most and thank you for letting me be there for you. Thank you for standing by my side, even when I was wrong; and just know that I will always stand by you.

Nothing makes me happier than when we are all together. You make family functions fun, even when they should probably be serious. You always know how to make someone laugh, and none of you ever fail to light up the room. Even when I am mad at you, you always find a way to make me smile. Thank you for telling me the truth, even when it hurts. I know I am not perfect, yet somehow you always see the best in me.

Because of you, I can take the mistakes I make and turn them into advice for you. Knowing that you look up to me makes me want to be the best person I can be, and just know that even though you are younger I also look up to all of you.

Thank you for wanting me. We might be forced to be family, but we chose to be friends. From when you were only an hour away to now when you are over 300 miles away, we have managed to not only stay close but somehow we have become closer. The love we have for each other is so much more than just 'family' love, it is a love we chose to have. It's the trust and respect we have for each other that keeps us so close when we are so far away.

Thank you for being so much more than just my cousins, thank you for being the people I trust the most, thank you for being my best friends.