A dedicated father drove over 1,000 miles to spend just half an hour with his daughter for a socially distanced lunch to mark her 19th birthday.
Realtor Julio Cesar Segura, 53, was on the road for a whopping 17 hours, making his way from his home in El Paso, Texas, to Austin, Texas, and back again; clocking up eight-and-a-half hours each way.
His daughter, Diana Segura Lerma, celebrated her birthday on May 8, and her dad Julio was determined to wish her a happy birthday in person, travelling 1,152 miles in total.
Diana had no clue what her dad had been plotting. During the day, Julio called to wish her a happy birthday, while pretending he was simply ordering her takeaway treat of choice: a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. Little did she know that he was actually en route to have lunch with her in person.
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.
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.
Birthday girl Diana was completely oblivious to the fact that her dad had in fact woken up at 3.30am in order to make sure he would arrive on time to share her favourite lunch.
I left my house at 4.15am. I was missing her and I wanted to give her a surprise. I decided to go the day before. I love her and I wanted to make sure she had a good birthday.
Upon opening her front door, Diana was left absolutely stunned when, instead of a delivery driver, there was her very own dad standing before her with balloons and a happy birthday sign.
According to Diana:
He showed up with the food and a poster board and balloons. 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.
In order to maintain a safe social distance, Julio and Diana enjoyed their lunch outside, eating while seated several feet away from one another on the terrace. After half an hour, Julio headed back on the long road back towards El Paso.
For Diana, it was understandably pretty tough to see her dad take off in his car again without even being able to give him a hug goodbye.
He drove for so long and I wasn’t even able to give him a hug. When you see a loved one and they come so far to see you, it’s your instinct to hug them.
However, Julio was happy all the way home after knowing he had given his daughter a lovely birthday:
I was the driving the whole day but I was so happy on the way back. She deserved a good birthday.
A happy belated birthday to Diana, and to all those who are currently celebrating being another year older under the current restrictions.