Sharing a 21st birthday beer with your father is a rite of passage for most American youth. But what if your father has passed away before your 21st birthday arrives? For Matt Goodman, the rite of passage seemed impossible. His father passed away in 2014, when Matt was only 15 years old.

John Goodman, Matt’s father, was ever-present. He was at every sporting event, every school function, and every life event. “He was a huge goofball that would do anything in the world to make me happy.” Matt said of his larger-than-life dad.

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Matt Goodman’s Right of Passage

So as Matt’s 21st birthday approached, he felt a sense of longing, wishing his dad could be there, just like he had been for every other birthday, until his life tragically ended.

What Matt didn’t know, what he couldn’t know, was that John Goodman had already planned on being there for his son’s birthday, only this time in spirit. John left a $10 bill with Matt’s mother, telling her to give it to their son for his first legal drink.