I talked to my dad today; first time since Mom died. Before that, it was two months, and before that, probably over a year.
My dad was born in Eastern Scotland, adopted son of a coal miner just before the Depression. He was illegitimate and was abused physically and emotionally because of that.
He eventually married my mother, after her divorce left her with my then-seven-year-old half-brother. About eight years later, my "accidental" birth, and that of my younger brother a year later, followed.
Dad had problems with anger, and I understand that he struck my half-brother at least a few times as he was growing up. By the time my brother and I came along, Dad had mellowed (learned?) to the point that we never received more than a fairly gentle hand-spanking.
Dad drank and smoked throughout my childhood. He quit both around retirement, only to resume drinking. He seemed to function despite it, holding the same responsible job for most of his career. Unfortunately, he used it mostly to allow him to express emotion he couldn't, otherwise, which left me with the feeling that "only the beer was talking".
But I did pick up the phone and call him. I guess that's love.