I look in photo albums and old pictures and see many people surrounding me.

There I am as a young girl being adored in many pictures. The people in those pictures are my, "Family." The sad part is I have no idea who those people truly are. As I got older it is like I lost more and more family.

I listen to many people complain about being crazy on holidays due to going to multiple family member's houses. I listen to people wish they could skip the family parties or avoid the Aunt who is not necessarily the best person to be around.

I constantly wish I had those problems. I wish that I would be getting cheesy birthday cards or receiving ugly sweaters for Christmas. Do not take involvement of extended family for granted. Enjoy the company, take the heat of a few days, and spend it with your entire family. Put your phone down and engage in conversation. Skip the party on Friday night and take your little cousin out to the movies, take your grandparents for dinner, or just have a large family dinner.

When you watch your family just walk out of your life it really hurts. You are constantly curious what you could have done at 6, 7, or 8 years old to cause someone who once found you important to act like you do not exist at all. As a young adult reflecting on everything I achieved, I am proud. I was very lucky to be blessed with very supportive parents.

Many days I wonder what my life would have been like with more involvement of my extended family. I wonder what my life would have been like to have extra love and support. Although, with all of that being said I have learned to be the most loving and supportive person I can be.

I have and always will be the girl anybody can run to if there is trouble arising. In closing, to the family who walked away I am truly sorry you missed out on who I have become. Thank you for every time you have never been there, it has taught me to be a better person.