My father, a pediatric surgeon, was not very good at expressing himself to me. He could be very sociable when he wanted, but I don't know that that was the real him. We argued a lot, but mostly because, according to my mother, he enjoyed hearing me logically and passionately defend myself. I, on the other hand, didn't enjoy arguing for sport.
There were times I wished my father would tell me he was proud of me; he apparently told everyone but me. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1995 and underwent an operation that gave him almost six more years of life. In those years, I learned not to expect what I wanted from him, but to accept what he offered, to enjoy the times nothing was said but a lot was shared.