I love my friends. They make me happy. They’re a lot of fun. Sometimes I think “my friends are great, I’ll always have them.” But I won’t. Not really.

I look back to my younger years and the friends I had in school are not the same ones I have now. Each new stage in life brought a new set of friends. My friends changed as I changed and we grew apart, people moved away and others moved in. I grew up when some of them didn't; others got married and no longer have time for their unwed friends. Most went on missions for our church or off to big fancy colleges. Me? I’m still here. In my little town, going to the neighboring towns’ little college. At first I was super sad. I wanted to go off to college. All my friends were going! Where would be without my friends? But this was just another stage in my life. Soon it brought new friends. They too moved on and more came. Friends rotate through your life. You’re probably not gonna have the same friend from pre-k till you're forty. And if you do? Marry him already.

In these last few unstable years, I've come to a conclusion; something my mom has told me since I was two. (don’t you hate it when moms are right?) My mom always says “friends may come and go, but family is forever.” Three years ago I finally realized she was right. After high school I felt kinda lost. All my friends left at once and I felt very alone. But my family didn’t leave. They never had. And they never will. They are constant.

I have a great relationship with all four of my siblings. Better than any relationship I’ve had with a friend. My parents are the best I could ask for. There has never been shouting, fighting or violence in my home.   It just wasn’t aloud, and it really wasn’t necessary. There was, and is, love in my home.

This is what I come home to after work or school. This is what I wake up to every morning. This is the reason I usually choose family time over friend time. This is what I want for my children.  This is what I want in my own home. I want my home to be the place my children come to feel safe and protected. I want them to think of home as the peaceful place they can go to escape the world. I want them to know that their siblings and parents love them unconditionally and will do anything for them. I want them to love home.

I want them to have a childhood like I did. I want them to have a home like I have.

Friends are great. Family is constant.

Friends may come and go, but family is forever.