So, what does that mean, unconditional?

The dictionary would say that it means 'not conditional or limited', and I would say the love of my family taught me that's what 'family' really means, to love someone and be there for them through anything and everything.

The unconditional love and support of my family always existed, it just took a fair amount of mistakes and a long time to realize it.

Months ago, my mom could've said she loved me unconditionally for weeks before I finally realized what that meant. It meant we could yell and scream and bicker and fight until hell would break loose, but I know she'll still wake up the next morning loving me.

It means I can try as hard as I possibly can on a test and still fail it, only for my family to still love me.

It means when I lose my way and fall down, they'll be there to pick me up and brush me off, having unconditional faith in me.

It means I can make stupid jokes with my siblings and call them dumb names and they would retaliate, yet we still know we have unconditional love for each other.

It means no matter how many ludicrous boys come into my life, my dad and my brother will always be there to give them a hard time and unconditionally protect me.

It means that to this day when I slip up and make a mistake, because we aren't all perfect and we ALL make mistakes, that the first people I could run to would be my family. No judgements, just unconditional love.

It only took me moving 500 miles away from my family and fighting with them for most of my high school years for me to realize that my family really is there for me. Although it's taken time, I've realized when life knocks me down and I struggle to get back up, the people that will always be there for me are the ones that have been standing right behind me since the day I came into this beautifully flawed world. I can laugh and I can cry, but the love of my family doesn't change. They have seen the best and they have seen the worst, but their acceptance of me hasn't changed.

It's taken people coming and going in my life for me to realize the 4 people that have been standing by my side through thick and thin that have been overlooked for most of my life. I urge you, if you are the same as me and haven't noticed it yet, open your eyes. Your family is waiting for you to see the budding unconditional love they have for you.