My heart is broken with knowing that my incredible Dad, Max Friedman, passed away peacefully this past Monday with all of us surrounding him in love and light. Words cannot describe the sorrow I feel in losing this great man.
Our family and friends always used to call him “The Most Interesting Man in the World” because he resembled the guy in the Dos Equis Beer commercials. But, it was more than just his uncanny resemblance that earned him this title. My Daddy was a legend among all of our friends and family. His infectious smile and fully embracing hugs made everyone feel welcome in our home.
Along with my Mom, both my parents created an environment of unconditional acceptance and love, so my childhood home became the go-to house where my friends would turn to if they needed advice or just an ear to listen. My Dad was known for being the cool cousin, uncle, brother, husband, father, grandfather, son and friend because he loved to have fun, so people felt comfortable opening up to him. And he always made himself available to anyone in need.
My Dad was a man of many careers ranging from being a science teacher, owning a men’s clothing wholesale business, creating a general contracting company and being an ultrasound technician to name just a few. He was not afraid to reinvent himself and I attest my own entrepreneurial spirit to his brave outlook on taking calculated risks for the benefit of his family.
When I was in middle school he made a significant career shift that allowed him to be closer to home instead of commuting into NYC every day, so he could make me and my brother’s dance recitals and sports games. And he made certain to attend every one, cheering us on with excitement.
Ever since I can remember my Dad was always a huge presence in my life and I truly looked up to him. He and my Mom created a solid foundation built on love, trust, loyalty, reliability and protection, which allowed me and my brother to thrive.
When I was little I assumed every family had this incredible stability in their lives. But, as I grew older, I quickly realized that our family was very special and it was due to the consistent love and support my parents provided us. He always put family first. My Mom was his true love and they were inseparable. My brother and I learned from the best and because of this, we now have loving families of our own.
My Dad was very fun-loving and liked a good party or reason to celebrate. He would be the first to line up shots of tequila for a toast for any occasion even if someone stopped by just to say hi. He enjoyed telling corny, dirty jokes and got a high from everyone’s laughter. He loved to swim, bike, camp, hike, play tennis and above all else ski. For him, it was a dream come true when he had the opportunity to teach his grandchildren to ski down a mountain.
I remember when he taught me to ski. He would always say how graceful a skier I was even when I was first learning. He was always encouraging me like that with everything I did. He was one of my biggest fans and I am so grateful for all the nourishment he provided.
I love what my brother wrote about my daddy. “If you knew him, he loved you. If you didn’t, he made your world a better place.” There is no truer statement.
I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with this great man. His spirit will forever be burned into my heart and soul. His magnetic presence will be missed so much by all who knew him. Max Friedman is one of a kind and truly “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.