Our interviewee today is David Ostermayer.
You have a German last name but your Spanish is perfect, tell me why? “My father is a first-generation German, and that is why my last name is German, but I must admit that my German is very basic. As to my Spanish, my mother was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and immigrated to this country in search of the American Dream. I grew up knowing both cultures; however, I must admit that I lived more with my mother’s family and that is why my Spanish is much better than my German.”
How did your parents meet? “They met when they both worked at the post office. My mother is an enthusiastic, communicative, generous woman, always willing to help others and my father is a very focused, organized and methodical man. I think they complement each other well. I admire them both because they are people who value family. For both of them family is first and there is no great sacrifice if it is for the family.”
Do you consider that your upbringing was different from that of your friends? “I was born and raised in Stamford. I’ve lived in Connecticut all my life and to be completely honest, I think every family is a different universe. I can say that my mother is a very affectionate person and that has always seemed like a very Latin trait. She always tries to see the best in everything and maintain the unity of the family. Celebrations, however small they may be, become an event when she is involved. However, I must say that there is also the side of commitment and doing what is right. Although loving, if I did something bad, I knew my mother would not let it go by, because discipline was always there. Also, I must talk about that feeling of having parents for anything and that my parents have been with me in the good times and not so good times. I have never been afraid or ashamed to ask for help when I needed it, because I grew up understanding that the family is always there for you.”
What do you do? “In college I studied for a career related to administration. Then, I did a postgraduate in health care and finally got my certification for nursing home, or geriatrics; I think that is the translation in Spanish.”
Why did you decide to work in the geriatric area? “My parents worked and my paternal grandmother lived with us; She contributed a lot to my upbringing. I think my love for my grandmother made me understand that elders need special care, to feel safe and included. I’ve always liked to help others, so my job allows me to feel very good about myself because I found an occupation where I can make a difference by doing something for others. It is not about responsibility alone; it is about giving the best of you. When you work in an institution for the elderly, you connect with a very important aspect of life and that is that we are all going to be seniors and depend to a greater or lesser extent on others.”
Tell me about your family? I have a very special wife, whom I admire very much, because she has a lot of strength. Also, she has a quality that I do not think is very common and it is that she always asks the right questions either to meet a person or to help you find the answer you need to a problem. I really cannot explain with simple words how much she has contributed to my life. I am fortunate and have a lot to thank him for, especially for becoming a father of a girl and a boy. Now I can understand so many things. One of them is that you reinvent yourself to be a better person because you are no longer alone; you have a responsibility that is more than just you. My wife and children move my life in the direction of their happiness. I want our children to grow feeling loved and understanding that both their mother and I will always be for them. When you are a father, it is as if selfishness no longer takes place in your life because they are first.”
What would be your final message be? “Everything we do is the reflection of our parents and then, it will be in our children, which is why we should not take a step without thinking about the consequences. Never forget that family is first.”
María Danniella Gutiérrez-Salem practiced law in Venezuela before going after her own American Dream and becoming a writer in the United States. She is also a licensed realtor, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 475-289-1461.