Little kids dream of growing up to be all sorts of different things. Some kids want to be a firefighter, some a pilot, even the first woman president, but I dreamed of growing up and having a million friends. I realized that this was an illusory dream when I was ten years old sitting on my patio crying because one of my good friends did not invite me to her birthday party. Not only was I upset, but also I was nearly positive that my life was ending. However, beyond just the understanding that I would never have a million friends, I learned something else very important that day. I can still recall the very significant advice my older brother gave me. He sat me down and while wiping away my tears, he said, “Shelly, I am going to tell you a secret. In life, you have one or two very close friends and your family, and to be honest it is your family that really matters anyways. So forget the girl who doesn’t invite you to her party and remember that your family always loves you.” Sure enough as life progresses, nothing has proven more true than the words of my brother. Through all my mistakes, my bad days, and my successes it is my family that is there, right by my side, holding my hand. I believe in the power of family.
Dan Wilcox said it best when he stated, “I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” To me, my family is the most valuable thing I have and I would not trade it for the world. They are my best friends, yet my worst critics; they will tell me when I am wrong and praise me when I am right. There is no better cure to a bad day than sitting around the dinner table and listening to my dad as he retells a story for the 100th time. Being far apart from my family in college is not easy by any means, but only makes me appreciate the love of my family more. Without them, I would not be who I am today, and even though I may never have a million friends, I am a million times richer because I have my family.
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