My father's illness is apparently bad; we put him in the hospital the day after Thanksgiving, and despite my mother's telling me he seems to be better, it's pretty clear from talking to her today that he's not. He went from the hospital to a rehab, but he's not eating, and, while he perks up when he has visitors, he sleeps most of the time. Now she's talking about putting him into a hospice. There is no phone he can use, and it's not clear he could use one anyway.
Mother told me he said that he's accomplished what he wanted to, which sounds to me like he's trying to decide his attitude about dying. Mother is scared, and responds well to the small talk that my wife and I provide when we call. She has the support of many neighbors.
My father had a poor relationship with his father, and got little support from him. I had my differences with my father; ours was not an easy relationship, and will never make a 30-minute feelgood TV special. Nonetheless, he did far better for me than his father did for him. I don't know what he would say his accomplishments are. I hope he is proud of what he gave to, and did for, his two children.