"I feel like that was the final goodbye that he didn't get to say," the boy's mom said

By Alexandra Zaslow
Updated March 12, 2015 01:30 PM

A young boy finally got the goodbye he’s been missing from his dad, who died two years ago.

Rowan Torrez and his mom, Julie Van Stone, were taken by surprise when a postcard showed up at their home in Littleton, Colorado, on Saturday, according to KUSA.

The 10-year-old boy’s father, Joseph Torrez, died in March 2013 at 41 from a rare brain disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Prior to his death, the Navy veteran attended MIT to get two master’s degrees in 2007, which he pursued to support the son he always wished would be part of his life.

“He adored [Rowan],” Van Stone told KUSA. “Every star he ever wished on and every wishbone he ever broke, he always wished for a son.”

During a road trip back to Colorado, he would send postcards from every state in which he stopped.

Most – but not all – made it to Rowan in a timely manner.

The postcard the boy received this past weekend was dated June 10, 2007. It read: “Hello from Pennsylvania. I love you, and I miss you so much. See you soon, love daddy.”

The postcard arrived just days before the two-year anniversary of Joseph’s death.

“I feel like that was the final goodbye that he didn’t get to say,” Van Stone told KUSA. “I vaguely remember him saying, ‘Oh, I sent five or six [postcards] and I only got three or four in the mail. But I never thought anything of it.”

Rowan, meanwhile, cherishes the special delivery as a memory of the father who died much too young.

“He was a very nice person, a very good person and a very good dad,” Rowan told KUSA, and said he will add the postcard to his scrapbook of mementos about his father.

“It’s a keepsake,” he said. “I’d say thank you.”