Dad who died of cancer left son $10 for his first legal beer

Twitter / Matt Goodman

John Goodman knew he wasn’t going to be able to celebrate his son Matt’s 21st birthday with him. So he left a $10 bill with his daughter and made a secret pact with his daughter and wife: They’d give Matt the cash when he turned 21, so his dad could buy him his first legal beer.

Goodman died of esophageal cancer in 2015, and his wife and daughter, Casey, kept the secret and that special $10 until earlier this month, when Matt’s birthday arrived and his sister handed him a gift from their dad.

“She just gave it to me in an envelope, and I was kind of confused at first,” Matt, who lives in Taunton, Massachusetts, told The Boston Globe. “Then she told me my dad had given her that before he passed away so he could buy me my first beer. It was a pretty emotional night.”

The next morning, he used the $10 to buy his first legal beer, along with a plate of French toast, at a nearby bar and grill.

Matt posted the moment on Twitter, writing, “cheers pops havin this one for you!”

“Knowing that he thought about a future big moment in my life meant everything, because even being gone he still did whatever he could to make my 21st birthday,” he told CNN. “It was probably the best present I’ve ever gotten.”

This touching gesture from his pops has since gone viral. Since the first drink he ordered was a Bud Light, Budweiser decided to send him some more beer, and he posted to thank the company:

Then, people started chiming in on social media to ask for his Venmo to buy him even more beers. He demurred in the best way, asking people who were inspired by his dad’s foresight to donate to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute instead.

“They did a lot for my dad so that would be much appreciated!” he wrote:

We have a feeling John would be pretty proud of how his son is paying it forward!

Family & Parenting, Good News, News, Parenting

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About the Author
Jenn Fields
Jenn Fields serves as Simplemost Media’s managing editor from Colorado, where she worked as a reporter and editor, on staff and as a freelancer, at newspapers and magazines. After earning her master’s from University of Missouri’s journalism school, Jenn worked in community journalism for 10 years, writing and editing for the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post. Over her 20-year career, she has covered a diverse range of topics, including travel, health and fitness, outdoor sports and culture, climate science, religion and plenty of other fascinating topics.

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