I have an awesome extended family.
We went to Kent this weekend to celebrate a surprise 70th birthday party for my Uncle. It was a blast. There were over 50 relatives there, some driving from over 8 hours away. Uncle was totally surprised, he thought he was just coming over for a game/cards night to his sons house and then after he came in we all filed in from the back deck and he was so surprised everyone was there, too. (Glad there was no heart attack involved!)
There were same age cousins for our kids to play with as well as Grammy and Papa and older cousins in their 20's that couldn't help but play with all the kids. It was a little cold and drizzly off and on, but that didn't stop the festivities. There were tent canopies and propane heaters that kept us comfy outside and a fine space inside for conversing and meeting the newest cousin baby Abby - 2 weeks old over from Olympia.
I just love that we can be teaching our children that family is important, not by saying it, but by showing it. By going to these functions, having people over, but mostly, just by making the effort that is required to do this now that everyone is spread out. I wish we were better about hosting functions, but I guess we are a little "out of the way" out here - you know, anything North of Everett must be in Canada! But we have done a couple things since we have been over here and the kids loved having everyone at their house.
Something in me (probably the grown-up me after being an only child) really loves having family around. I love seeing everyone and talking. I love the business of it. I love having those people out there that you love and know love you back. Of course, I still like my hermit time at home and the quiet time I used to have as an only child. Maybe because I was "alone" growing up (and I'm sure loved it then, but it is different as an adult not to have any siblings) I love having this extended family now that is so "close". I am also blessed to be part of a loving in-law family. I now have a sister and brother and the in-laws that go with them. It is great.
If you love your family, show it. Go there, do that trip. Take the time. Be involved. They're not? Host a party. Have a game night. Go watch Jeopardy with the older ones. Most of all, make the effort. You only have a limited time. Don't regret it later.