DEAR ABBY: My 19-year-old sister died two years ago from an overdose. I'm 13. We were very close when we were little, but before she passed away, my parents didn't want us around each other for fear of her rubbing off on me. A year earlier she went to rehab, and I talked with her about how she was clean for good and then . . .
It's just so lonely! All my friends have sisters and brothers and I don't, and I'm bored all the time. My parents work a lot, so I'm home alone at least three times a week, and although I've got friends and sports, I'm just alone.
It's awkward going out to dinner or going on vacation because my parents just want to sit and relax, and I want to go out and do things, but it's embarrassing going everywhere with your parents. I miss having her around.
- Alone in Ohio
DEAR ALONE: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your sister. You are still grieving, which is why you say you feel alone. However, if you think about it, because of her addiction, she has been out of your life for longer than two years. It may be that what you're really mourning is the relationship you might have had.
You say you have friends. If you listen to them talk, you may find that they, too, sometimes feel alone even if they have siblings. Since you're bored when you're not with your friends or playing sports, consider finding a hobby that will fill your time when your parents are working.
DEAR ABBY: I met a guy online. We have a wonderful connection and have our dates on Skype. The problem is, we have never met in person. Every time we plan on meeting, he shuts up for a time, isn't reachable, then suddenly reappears, asking me to forgive him and plan another meeting. Should I still believe this will happen any time soon?
- Left Hanging in Nairobi
DEAR LEFT HANGING: Something smells fishy. From where I sit, it appears your wonderful connection may be only your connection to the Internet. A person who does this repeatedly may not be who he has represented himself to be.