This devoted dad drove more than 1,000 miles round trip just so he could spend half an hour with his daughter and wish her a happy birthday during lockdown.
53-year-old Julio Cesar Segura spent 17 hours on the road driving across Texas from El Paso to Austin and back so he could join his daughter, Diana Segura Lerma, for a socially distant lunch on her 19th birthday.
The realtor drove 8 and a half hours each way for a total of 1,152 miles on May 8th.
Segura called his daughter to wish her a happy birthday and pretended he was simply out ordering her favorite takeaway lunch—a chicken sandwich from fast food chain Chick-fil-A.
“He told me that since he couldn’t do much he wanted to know what I’d like for lunch and he would send an Uber Eats order,” said Lerma. “So I texted him what I wanted—the chicken fillet sandwich with pepperjack cheese, buffalo sauce and mayonnaise.
“He brings me that sandwich for lunch on my birthday every year—so far, he hasn’t missed a year,” she added.
What Lerma didn’t know was that her dad had actually woken up at 3:30am to get on the road in time to surprise her with the same birthday lunch she has every year.
“I left my house at 4:15am. I was missing her and I wanted to give her a surprise,” said Segura. “I decided to go the day before. I love her and I wanted to make sure she had a good birthday.”
After placing the sandwich order with her father, Lerma opened the door to her apartment building expecting to find a delivery driver—instead, she was amazed to find her dad standing outside with balloons and a happy birthday sign in hand.
“He showed up with the food and a poster board and balloons,” recalled Lerma. “I was so excited. I haven’t seen him in months, since winter break. I didn’t think that I would see him again until August.
“He has always been someone who loves gestures, but I never imagined he would do this in a pandemic.”
Segura and Lerma then enjoyed their meal outside, all while respecting social distancing guidelines and sitting six feet away from each other.
“We went to a little terrace and there were chairs that were really spread out,” said Lerma. “We ate several feet apart.”
After just half an hour with his daughter, Segura hopped back into his car and drove the 576 miles back home.
“I was the driving the whole day but I was so happy on the way back,” said Segura. “She deserved a good birthday.”
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