I'm so glad to hear that bug's son made it through surgery. Now, I'm crossing my fingers (and toes) that he recovers quickly and is able to spend some time with his buddies and just enjoying life for as long as possible. Maybe we should all write Disney and tell them this is one of those times they should rent out the room in the castle.
mrd, dating in your 40's isn't quite that bad although it can be comical. A lot has changed since that ridiculous Newsweek article about being killed by a terrorist being more likely than getting married. You'll know when you are ready to see what's out there. In the meantime, enjoy your freedom. Have cereal for dinner. Spend the weekend in your pajamas reading whatever you want to and pampering the dogs once you get them. Join netflix and rent your favorite tv series and watch an entire season in two days. Enjoy time with your friends. Take long walks on the beach early in the morning before it gets too hot. Take the job in the industry you don't like just to get through and explore things you actually want to do. It's not a dead end. It's just a means to an end.