My family is awesome. I know that statement isn't unique to just me, but seriously -- I have a pretty cool family. Granted, when I was a teenager nothing about my family was cool (if you've ever met or been a teenager, you know that can be a true statement).
We have a pretty big age spread between the oldest and me, the youngest. There's 21 years of a gap there, so I haven't always felt necessarily close to all of them. They're all baby boomers, and I'm a Gen X-er. I became an aunt for the first time when I was four. Yes, there are some generational differences between us.
As children grow older, unless the children have a particularly strong bond or live close to each other, there may not be a lot to hold them together. In my experience, parents are the common tie between siblings. Thankfully, I have a sister who is the glue of our family. As my parents' health deteriorated, she was the one who kept us all informed and helped us decide when it would be good for us to come visit. Her home was always open for us to visit, with a warm bed (or floor with bedding), food and hospitality.
(More about her later.) So when my parents died, I didn't know if there would be enough of a tie or bond for us to keep being a family -- it's easy to focus on your own family once the parental units are gone.
But guess what? My family is awesome. We still love each other. Even with our own separate lives and families, we are still inseparably connected. Which is good, because they're cool (no longer a teenager) and I love them.