"But, after watching Dad slowly slip away, I know now..."
I know too. My mother had emphysema and severe osteoporosis for 20 years, and spent her last 99 days in IC. My dad dropped dead of a HA while walking down the road. Ask me which way I want to go.
Actually, I have a suspicion of which way that might be, and have found that the ever present certainty that one will be no more, and even, possibly, soon and suddenly, has a way of sometimes concentrating attention on what is really important and what isn't, how one should act, and what one should and shouldn't say.
Not bad things to consider, all in all, even if no one can keep those things in mind as much as he should.
Pennsylvania Dutch saying: So soon so old, so late so smart,
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.