Growing up there was a saying my dad
drove into my brain, "Blood is thicker than water. Family is blood, and Everyone else is water." This lesson was one I had to learn early if I was to be the leader of my 'Band of Brothers'.
There were many times when I fought with my brothers, but there were just as many times when I fought for them against outside threats (whether they knew about it or not). I'm sure you can sympathize with the saying, "Nobody can pick on my brothers except ME!". It was my birthright!
We all have a family. If you're in a situation where you don't know if you have a family, this will help: "Family bleeds together". Your family isn't perfect, and won't succeed in life unscathed; But it will be there to support you every step of the way.
We all need our family, whether we want to admit it or not. Some of us deny that we need them, only to learn later that life is better with your family in it.
I am so thankful for my cousins (see picture, heather I love you too). They are champions of their own lives. Each one going through something most would categorize as traumatic, only to stand at the top of the mountain they each climbed. None of them have come this far in life unscathed, but each one with an awesome story to tell.