My dad never told me he loved me when I was living at home. The good news is he didn't have to. Once I made it through the teenage years to young adulthood I realized all the time dad invested in me and my brothers said it louder than words ever would.
Dad spent countless hours teaching us how to play baseball, shoot, hunt squirrels, and fish. More great memories than I'll ever be able to post here. I recall once when we were squirrel hunting and dad told us he could take a platoon of Marine recruits through the woods quieter than we were, of course he was right. He was a Parris Island DI, so he would know. Dad carried a 1947 .22 bolt action single shot Glenfield. We shot our share of squirrels. I remember the first time he taught me how to clean the squirrels. Which elevated my status as a hunter. I also recall him teaching us how a squirrel would move around to the other side of a tree so it was out of sight and how to get it to move back around so you would have a shot. It's amazing how you never forget those things. A few years ago, which is many years after the squirrel hunting, dad gave me the .22 rifle. I learned it was the first rifle he ever bought when he was 14 years old. Valuable no, priceless yes.
Needless to say we've learned how to say "I love you" since those days. The good news, we still don't have to. Dad taught us actions will always say it best.