I have gone through a lot of my life thinking family is always there for you, family is the most important thing, the relationships in your family are incomparable, "blood is thicker than water". I have come to a place in life where I believe there is nothing better than a true friend; not a sweeter compliment than someone sincerely looking you in the eye and calling you "friend".
You do not get to choose your family but you do get to choose your friends. When a friend is standing beside you in hard times it is because they WANT to be there, not out of some familial obligation.
I know many sisters who are best friends, mothers and daughters who are best friends, aunt and niece, etc. So when you look at a family member and call them a friend, that is a choice...that is elevating them above their family title and saying "I choose you." How sweet is that?
I love my friends!