A Tribute To The Beloved Father


A Tribute To The Beloved Father

The bond between a father & his child is a celebration every day. From the day we learn to sleep comfortably in his arms, the day we walk for the first time holding his hands, the days of learning a sport with him to the days when he becomes a dependent of ours, all these moments and the moments in between are special. Father’s need to be celebrated & cherished all day every day doesn’t matter if it’s a Father’s Day or not. 

Why all this ‘cherish the Father’ talk you may ask?

Being a daughter who lives far away from her Father, I also witness my Father getting older by each day. Now I understand a bit of what it is like being a parent and leaving your child in a far off land and worrying about them all the time.

An Instagram friend recently poured her heart out paying an ode to her father by means of the best food he used to like. I don’t know if this was her best coping mechanism for the loss she suffered last year, but I do know that this was one of the best ways one can remember those whom we’ve lost forever in life. I could even relate to it more as my own grandfather was a foodie and we too made the best things he used to like and fed to as many of his loved ones as possible. 

Here’s sharing the delightful tribute by Nikki Carbonell aka @hungrykhaleesi to her beloved father, I’m sure it’ll touch your hearts as it did mine. 

The Birthday Steak

You were the rarest of them all, Dad. . . A year ago, 15 days after his birthday, my father passed away. Today is the first time I’ll be spending the 25th of May without the man who loved me unconditionally. He would have been 63. Sometimes, when the pain of missing him gets unbearable, I ponder on the thought of wishing that he didn’t have too much of an impact on me. But the effort is futile because I am who I am now because of him. He showered me and my siblings all the attention in the world. He taught us all that we know. He was our rock. We did everything together. He was the first one to call me Khaleesi. With all the strength I could muster, I am dredging up all the happiest memories I could think of, (which is 95% out of a 100 because yes, he is the best dad in the entire universe) to get me through this day. One particular memory that I could remember vividly was when that time I asked my brother to cook for me some steak in the middle of the night. Dad woke up and asked what smelled so good. Around this time, he was already too weak to eat and was just feeding on soups and chowders. When I told him Franco was searing some steak, his eyes lit up and asked “Can I have some?” Of course Dad, you can! I said enthusiastically. It was the first time in months he craved for something other than his usual chowder. I cut up the steak as little as I could and mashed some rice in the steak’s juices as per his request and fed him at 2 am in the morning. He was humming and praising my brother’s steak saying “yummy” as much as he could. Dad, this steak is for you. I prepared it just the way you liked it. Are there steaks in heaven? What I’d do to let him have a bite of this one last time. At the end of the day, I revel in the fact that I was raised by a rare man like my father. Nobody can ever take that away from me. And that’s what makes me feel so lucky. Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you with all of my myoglobin filled heart.

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

The one, that reminded me of my good old days of drawing & painting with my Dad, he used to be so good at drawings, I even tried my hand at sketching during summer vacations just because I knew it runs in the blood. 

You were knot just an extraordinary dad, your talents were also remarkable. . . Thanks Dad, for letting me join all the father-daughter on-the-spot drawing and painting contests with you 👨🏻💕👧🏻 We won each and every single one of them! 🏅🎨 Including that one time you had a business trip on the same day of the contest, and mom had to take your place! You let me practice the entire night with you so I won't have a hard time doing it alone on the contest itself, since Mom can't help (she can't draw or paint, she was just there for the rule that one parent has to be with me) And still, we won! 🎊 Mom had to page you to let you know since there were no cellphones yet at that time! All of these precious moments with you will forever be in my pretzel-filled heart. ❤

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

The one where she used her wit to make us feel grateful about Nutella in our lives and made me remember the times when my Dad used to take us for ice-cream treats when we’d finish our exams or when the results will be out. 

I can nutella how grateful I am for all that you've done for me, Dad. . . From driving us to school, picking us up again after and helping us with our homework and assignments, you did everything, Dad. When I was a kid, teachers will complain to my parents how I was not speaking up in class. My mom, my greatest defender, would desperately tell my teachers, "let her take a written exam and she'll ace it". Which I did, always. But when it comes to recitations, I flubbed, I stuttered and I failed. Speaking in public terrified me. Mom baked all the cookies and cakes to comfort me, but Dad? He didn't stop until my stutters disappeared. One time in English class, we had to memorize one declamation piece and deliver it in front of everyone as our grade for finals. No written exams. Just 5 horrifying minutes of performing in front of people. I dreaded it. But Dad was there to the rescue. We stayed up all night for a week, teaching me all the right intonations and necessary hand movements. He let me read the piece out loud before I went to sleep and before we ate breakfast. He didn't stop until I enunciated every word flawlessly. Declamation day came and I made it to top 1. I couldn't believe it. My English teacher was so impressed, he assigned me to lead the class on our next recitation project. I was never afraid to speak in public ever again. Fast forward to the future and I'm hosting events left and right with a crowd of a thousand and more, my fear in public speaking long forgotten. And it's all because of you, Dad. ❤ My Friday's full of nutella filled pancakes and sweet reminiscing, how about you? 🥞🍫💕

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

The one which caught my attention the most & filled my heart with emotions.

My Dad was such a sweetheart ❤ . . They say that the best thing a father can do for his daughter is to love his mother. And that's exactly what Dad did. He loved Mom with all of his heart and soul. Growing up, we watched him as he made Mom his ultimate priority. He showered her with all the attention and love a husband can give to his wife. They were one of the original couple goals. 💑 Their favorite thing to do together? Eat. They ate everywhere. And when they had us, we ate together, and everywhere even more. 👩‍👦👨‍👧‍👧 When we didn't like what we ordered from a restaurant, they would chime in at the same time and quite smugly if I may add, "we can do better steak at home." And they did! We had weekly steak nights! With all the works! Mashed potatoes and gravy all from scratch! Dad gushing at how perfectly cooked his steak was, and Mom grinning from ear to ear knowing Dad was satisfied, are what my dining table memories as a child were made of. His heart was always in the right place because until my Dad's very last breath, he loved my Mom unequivocally. To my first love, to Mom's ultimate sweetheart and to the sweetest man ever, here's the sweetest heart shaped ice cream bar ❤ Desperately trying to get it as high as I could up in the sky so Dad can have a piece of it in heaven. Thanks to him, my heart's not just filled with ice cream but also of the sweetest memories. 🍦💕

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

The one with Tarantino reference, anything about Movies is alluring.

I miss having the sweetest coneversations with you, Dad. . . From who will finally get the Iron Throne to how Django Unchained was the best Tarantino movie we've ever watched, talking with my Dad was never a bore. He was the smartest person I've ever known and yet the most humble. One of the funniest conversations I'll never forget was when Mom mentioned one time during dinner that a friend told her there was a study conducted that confirmed children owe their intelligence to their mothers, not fathers. My siblings and I burst out laughing while Dad was deadpan. We weren't sure if he was hurt that the study undervalued him as a father since well, he was the one who taught us everything, or if he was mad that we were teasing Mom. We kind of just looked at him and tried to say soothing words as carefully as possible and then out of the blue, he said, "well, the smartest thing I ever did was marrying your mom so, touché." Bouts of "awwws" and hysterical laughter followed soon after and the rest of the night was spent with each one of us trying to prove/disprove that study as jokingly and funnily as we could. ❤ Midnight shifts at work have been brutal and I'm glad I finally have some free time. Flower marshmallows, mini chocolate cones and a few fruit loops helped me with my dad tribute for today. 🍦🌸🍦🌸🍦

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

No Beef!

When we were together Dad, there was no place we'd rather beef. . . The main reason losing my Dad brought us such excruciating pain was how much he made sure family time was always the best time. We could be anywhere and still have the most fun. Whether it was in our living room watching and competing over Jeopardy (we loved Alex Trebek!) or at the top of Burj Khalifa looking across Dubai's wonderful skyline, each moment spent together with him was beyond precious. I'm piling up a pastrami sandwich as high as I could to represent all the happy memories I could remember, but I don't think I'll have enough beef slices in the world to account for all those wonderful times our family have shared. This will do, I hope!

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on


The one which drenched my heart with tears & broke it into zillion pieces. 


We love you and we miss you a hole lot, Dad. . . It's been exactly a year without you. A year without hearing your voice. A year without you bickering with Mom whose nose is better. A year without you shouting "BAM BAM BAM!" when you get a correct answer during Jeopardy. A year without you telling us to get you good quality honey. A year without you standing in front of the TV yelling and punching into the air as you root for your favorite boxer or basketball team. A year without your comforting presence. A year without your wisdom. A year without looking through your kind eyes. A year without your hugs and kisses. A year without you calling me Khaleesi. As the family grieves and goes through this difficult time, we find tremendous solace in the abundance of blissful memories you have left us behind. You will always live in our hearts, Dad. 💗💛💜

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on

S’more love is never enough too!

I wish I could have spent s'more time with you, Dad. . . I wish I could have told you that I finally I watched Inglourious Basterds after much prodding from you. I would have told you that Christoph Waltz deserved that Oscar win for that dairy farmer scene alone. I have never seen such a villain so vile yet so well-mannered. I wish I could have brought you to all of my tastings here in Dubai and critique every dish with you. That would have been a blast. You wouldn't have been too forgiving because you were the pickiest eater in the family. I wish you could have watched the NBA finals with Franco. You would have been sad though, since your favorite team lost the championship. I wish I could have played one more round of Scrabble and Game of Generals with you. I would have lost, again, because you were always unbeatable. Most of all, I wish I could have given you a taste of my homemade stack of ooey gooey and chocolatey s'mores for my penultimate dad tribute post. These may all be poignant wishes but at least I got the best one of all.. and that's to have been raised by you. ❤

A post shared by Nikki Carbonell (@hungrykhaleesi) on


I’m sure the ice-cream, steak, beef, s’mores, and all the beautiful food Nikki created, reached her Dad in heavens. A daughter’s or sons love towards their parent is as pure as the parent’s love towards them. The whole experience of losing either one in life is devastating. I’ve mostly seen condolence & RIP messages which actually amount up to nothing for the loss. I think only time heals and there’s no complete healing. 

Turning these sourest feelings into the most the best tasting lemonade is something that I believe artists do.  

Hungry Khaleesi, along with me the whole Urcuppa team shares love, respect & admiration towards you and pays respect to your beloved Father. May his soul rest in peace. 

(only ‘This is Us’ fans will get the reference)


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