DEAR ABBY: My brother, my only sibling, hasn't contacted me in 14 years.
I have tried to figure out why.
I wasn't mean to him, and we didn't fight.
My cousin told me it's because I called him incessantly years ago. I don't recall having done such a thing.
I really miss and care about him.
I live in a group home and wonder if he's ashamed of me.
He has accomplished more job-wise than I have.
I want to move on with my life, but I continue to fixate on why he seems to hate me.
I could use your opinion.
What advice do you have for me?
- His Sister in Maryland
DEAR SISTER: What a sad situation.
Not knowing your brother, I can't guess his reason for distancing himself. That's why I'm advising you to write him a letter.
Tell him how you feel, that you miss and care about him and would like to know why he hasn't contacted you during all this time.
He may or may not respond.
But if he doesn't, please understand that his silence has less to do with you or your living situation than it does about him and his inability to empathize.
You have every right to live your life as fully and enjoyably as possible, and whatever happens, I hope you will do that.
DEAR ABBY: I am 16 and my old friend from grammar school is getting married next month. I just received a wedding invitation in the mail.
However, my mother does not approve of her getting married at such a young age (she's 18) and has forbidden me to go or even talk to her.
I haven't seen this friend in more than two years because she moved away and has only recently returned.
I want to attend her wedding. How can I go about convincing my mom to let me go?
- Invited in Las Vegas
DEAR INVITED: At 18, the bride-to-be is an adult, and while marriage at such a young age isn't advisable for many reasons, there's nothing immoral about it.
I'm sorry you didn't mention what might have happened in your friend's life in the last two years, because it may be the reason your mother is worried about your associating with her.
Your mom may want to protect you, but she's going about it in the wrong way.
You could learn a lot about life by simply observing what happens to your friend after she has reached the altar.
DEAR ABBY: I was out this morning for my daily run (facing toward traffic) and a very long funeral procession drove by on the other side of the road.
The cars pulled over to the curb to let it pass.
I continued to run, but now I feel guilty.
Should I have stopped for the procession?
- Unsure in Michigan
DEAR UNSURE: No rule of etiquette requires it.
However, it would have been a gesture of respect and sympathy to have stopped running (and removed your cap if you were wearing one) until the procession had passed by.