AUSTIN, Texas - Just to be the dad who drives 1,000 miles, to stop at the door.
A Texas dad recently drove 1,152 miles roundtrip to give his daughter a socially-distanced birthday surprise.
Julio Cesar Segura, 53, got on the road at 4:15 a.m., South West News Service reported, to start the eight-and-a-half-hour drive from El Paso to Austin to visit his daughter, Diana Segura Lerma, for her 19th birthday.
The dedicated dad spent 17 hours in the car, roundtrip, only to spend 30 minutes with Diana and drop off her favorite sandwich — a chicken fillet sandwich with pepper jack cheese, buffalo sauce and mayonnaise from Chick-fil-A. It's part of a lunch tradition Julio and Diana share each year on her birthday.
However, this year was extra special, as Julio surprised his unsuspecting daughter.
“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,” Diana told SWNS.
“He brings me that sandwich for lunch on my birthday every year — so far he hasn’t missed a year.”
Though instead of a delivery driver, Diana opened her door to see her dad holding a Chick-fil-A bag, along with balloons and posters wishing her a “happy birthday."
"I decided to go the day before. I love her and I wanted to make sure she had a good birthday,” Julio told the outlet.
Diana was shocked when she saw her dad.
“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,” she said. “He has always been someone who loves gestures, but I never imagined he would do this in a pandemic.”
As excited as she was, Diana did admit that she was upset she “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,” she said.
Julio was nevertheless pleased with how the surprise went.
"I was the driving the whole day but I was so happy on the way back,” he said. "She deserved a good birthday."
Concerned about coronavirus, Julio did not go into Diana’s apartment, and instead the two ate their meals six feet apart -- outside.