This is something that I often don't think about and have taken for granted my whole life. Family is special; there's something in that relationship that you can never get with friends. Unfortunately, not everyone has good relations with their family, especially when it comes to their extended relatives. Things can get pretty nasty, and I feel sorry for those people. I don't have the best relationship with my family either but I still love them all and know they're always there for me.
I mentioned there was a difference between even close friends and family, and I can definitely tell you there is. Friends are great, or can be at least. People rely on their friends for a lot of things; from emotional support to physical support, from just being able to call a friend to come over at any hour to simply getting them to do a diet with you. There's a lot more I haven't even mentioned and I won't because this is mainly about family. You think of your mother; all she's done for you, all the love she gives and keeps giving, day after day after day, for the rest of her life. The kind of love that shows you that without even asking she will always support you and stand by your side. I don't have a father, figuratively speaking; that is to say, I have one but he left a long time ago and hasn't returned. While I regret the fact that I had no male role model for most of my life (except for when I was young and my uncle Del was there; I'll never forget how much I loved the time I spent with him), it's one of those things where if you don't know what you're missing, how can you miss it? While friends can be there for long periods of time, there are lots of cases where you will lose them; the reasons for this are too numerous for even me to think of. With friends you may think you are really close, may share all your secrets with them; nevertheless in the end they could end up betraying you over something as unimportant as a guy.
With family it's different. You can go years with just seeing each other maybe once or twice a year (at Christmas and Thanksgiving for example) and still be able to just confide in them stuff you can't tell anyone else about. I never realized how truly important it is to have family; to be close to each other. Everybody's so busy these days; between school, work, relationships, more work, more school, people often get busy and forget about their family. That's not to say they are ignoring them, but that they just get caught up in everything else in life.
There's no initial hump to get over like there is with friends; you know when you first meet and then decide how much to trust them or even if you can. There's none of that with family, you just know you can trust them and they know they can trust you. When you feel all alone and need someone to talk to who won't judge what you say, you turn to your family. Whether it be your mom, dad, sister or brother, cousin, uncle, niece, grandma or anyone else I'm missing, they all love you and want to help you; want to see you happy and successful.
They will talk to you about anything you need too, even if they don't really want to. They will, because you're family and they love you. Yet sometimes we can forget this; forget the importance of keeping in touch with our loved ones. Forget about the true meaning of family; just get so caught up in our own lives that we lose track. That happens, that's life these days. Nevertheless, it's always important to stay close to your family; for in the end, when you feel deserted and alone, they are always the ones holding out their hand to pull you back up.