TAUNTON, MA (CBS Boston) – Matt Goodman was surprised on his 21st birthday with a beer, from his dad. It was unexpected because Matt’s father John had passed away from cancer nearly six years ago.

“The morning of my birthday we went out to breakfast and ordered that first beer and it was actually like he was there buying me my first beer,” Matt said.

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Matt and his dad were extremely close. “He was just the life of the party,” Matt said. “All around great guy. He did whatever he could to make me happy.”

Matt Goodman (CBS Boston)

Not wanting to miss out on a party, John gave his daughter Casey a $10 bill before he died. He asked her to save it for Matt’s 21st birthday, so he could buy his son his first legal drink. Casey gave the money to her mom and they stored in an envelope in her closet for safekeeping. Casey said over the years it was hard to keep the secret, but it was all worth it on Saturday- when they surprised Matt with the gift on the night before his birthday.

John and Matt Goodman (Family photo)

“It’s just something so typical that my dad would have done,” Casey said. “To buy his first beer. Him and my dad were so close and he’s had such a hard time anytime that a monumental moment comes up in his life that my dad’s not there.”

Matt added, “It was so nice that my dad, six years ago before he passed had the foresight to think about a time like this knowing he wasn’t going to be there for my graduation or some of the bigger things in my life so he thought about something he could be there for, even if it wasn’t physically.”

Matt shared the moment on Twitter and the post went viral, many relating to his pain of losing a loved one.

“Even if he didn’t get this huge response, it’s something that he would remember for the rest of his life and it’s just been incredible,” shared Casey.

Matt’s choice of beer was a Bud Light, his dad’s favorite. And there’s currently no shortage of beer in the Goodman household. When Budweiser found out about the story, they sent him hundreds of beers.

“I couldn’t believe how many people were reaching out and heartfelt messages,” Matt said. “And like saying ‘cheers to my dad’ and saying they were raising a glass to him tonight, it was just kind of awesome to see all the responses people gave.”

Many on social media wanted to know if they could buy Matt a beer, but in a tweet he wrote, “Appreciate all of you asking for my venmo, but instead if you wanted to send money feel free to donate any amount to Dana Farber they did a lot for my dad so that would be much appreciated!”

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You can find the link to donate here: danafarber.jimmyfund.org