I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house full of love. Yes, as children we fought and as adults, we still have disagreements; but above all else, we knew that there would always be someone there to help us out. I thank my parents for this as they taught us the importance of family and sticking together. These lessons have carried on and are still well and truly alive today. While the younger generation continues to grow and expand, it is only natural that the older generation slowly starts to dwindle. That is what makes it all the more special when we gather for special occasions. It is only in adulthood that I have come to realise just how important such gatherings are. As a child, it was all about having fun with my many cousins, but now I appreciate the bond that my parents have with their remaining siblings and how much they cherish the time they spend together. After all, as my mother always told us as children, 'We start and end with family.' What better way to celebrate her spending time with one of her sisters and her brother at my sister's wedding last year. I hope that our sons will one day see the importance of family as I have grown to see it over the years.