Family could mean something different to everyone. Family could simply be your parents. Family could be your pets. Family could be your best friends. Family could be this mix of children, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Family could be your significant other. No matter who is apart of your family, it’s overall the people that are there for you through thick and thin. It’s the people who you would die for or do anything for. It is the people you want to love for the rest of your life. Family can mean anything, but this is what it means for ME.

Family is the dad who I enjoy fishing with and who I scream with while our favorite sports team is on the television. Family is the mom who does everything for me and the person who I could talk to for hours. Family are the brothers who drive me insane but I treasure every single moment you spend with them. Family are the cousins who are my closest friends even when I don’t talk to them every single day. Family is the aunt that makes me laugh or the aunt I could have conversations about anything with. Family is the uncle that comes to the rescue when I am having car issues or the uncle who love me like his own. Family is the grandpa that I think is so adorable with anything he does. Family are the friends that mean so much to me that I consider them family. Family is the dog that I cuddle with I am sad and don’t want to be around anyone else.

For me, my family are the people that love me and support me with every decision I make in life. My family may not always agree with me but they will still love me even when I drive them insane. Family to me are the people that you never grow tired of being around. They are the people who I run to when I am scared, lonely, and unsure with my next step in life. They are the people who I would run to if they needed me even if I had to take an airplane, train, car, boat, or camel, I’d be there. Family are the people that pick me up when I want to give up. Family are the people that understand me even when I don’t understand myself.

And during the darkest days is when my family means the most to me. It’s on those days I lean on them even though I am stubborn and like to deal with things on my own. Family are the shoulders I feel comfortable crying on even though I hate crying. It is the cousin that grabs my hand when I am uncontrollably crying. It’s my friend who tells me to pull my shit together when I’m sitting on the floor crying. It’s the brother that hugs me so tight to remind me he’s always there for me even though he’s the younger sibling. Family are the people that are by my side through all the bad and all the good. Family means more to me than anyone will know.

In times when we are reminded that life is short and bad things happen to good people, those are the times when you realize how much your family means to you. Whoever your family may be, hold them tight, over use the words “I love you”, support them with everything they do, and love them with everything you have. And know for when the day comes that they have to leave you, they will be in your heart forever. For my family reading this, I love you so much and you mean the world to me. I don’t say it enough but know I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.