Clearly he loved you. Like so many fathers he knew no other way of showing it, expressing it.
You caught me this morning in the midst of writing my own piece about fatherhood and memories of my own father, my own children and so my own thoughts on this, but I will spare you and not go on at length. Especially because your circumstances—although in some ways similar—were so much better than mine.
Cheer up, lad. Fathers today, for all our hard times, have had it so much easier. Ours had to deal with shit we could never imagine. Sometimes they clammed up for what they thought were the best of reasons: So that we wouldn’t have to bear their burdens.
P.S.: What did I tell you about Southerners and saying "I'm so sorry..." huh? Huh?