The brothers talk about what helps them stay together and be a solid family despite the distance.
Thousands of Ukrainians return home from abroad for Christmas and New Year holidays. Because there is nothing better than spending this cozy time in the circle of the most precious, on your native land. So says the family of Scotts from Volhynia – for Christmas five brothers plan to come home from the United States to the village of Guta. On the eve of the holidays we met with our brothers in Volyn and Sacramento (USA). They shared with their Express readers their incredible life story as well as rules that help them stay friendly and loyal despite their different life circumstances.
Volyn village of Guta. The beating of 82-year-old Zinovia and 76-year-old Maria Skotsev. In front of the windows of the house are tall nuts. In the house – cozy, over the sofa – a big picture, which shows parents and ten sons, all in embroideries. It says, “Here I am, and the children whom God has given me.” On the other walls are photographs of each son with his family. Igor is 48 years old, Andriy is 46, Romanov is 45, Anatoliy is 43, Alexander is 35, they live in Ukraine. And 50-year-old Stepan, 42-year-old Vitaliy, 40-year-old Vlad, 39-year-old Sergey, 37-year-old Nicholas – in America.
BUT ONLY BOYS ARE BORN
Fate brought Zinovia and Mary in 1968. Within a year, they had a firstborn, Stepan. Subsequently, the family became full – only boys! Zinova Stepanovich built a house for relatives. The family continued to grow – the boys themselves were born! There is a 15 year difference between the oldest and youngest sons. Ms Maria assures that it was difficult with her sons. The elders looked after the younger ones, helped with the lessons. Took care of home and economy.
“I don’t remember the kids saying ‘I won’t’ when I asked them to do something,” says Maria. – They helped because there was a lot of work: I got up at five in the morning – to milk the cow, to eat to cook. 18 bakes a week! ”
“Earlier, people used to make us laugh – they said we were producing hunger,” says Zinova Stepanovich. – Now you know what they say? Like, what are my difficulties? He raised such sons, they help in everything. That’s the way it is! ”
When asked if her mother ever complained that she had no daughter, the youngest son, 35-year-old Alexander, said: “I have never heard of her like this. Mom says the daughter-in-law is like a daughter to her. No one has ever quarreled! ”
“We wanted to be boarded”
The Scotts family in the Soviet Union had various problems because of its unwillingness to obey the system. “A criminal case was brought against our dad in the 1980s – for the ‘wrong’ upbringing of children,” says 48-year-old Igor Skot. – In fact, our family simply believed in God … Dad wanted to put us in and put us all in a dorm. It was an initiative of the school management.”
The only ones in their classes were not the pioneers and the Komsomol members, which is why the brothers say that they were lowering their grades. “Although they studied well,” notes Maria. – And somehow at the New Year’s masquerade Igor was not allowed to tell a poem. The teacher said: if you take the star of jaundice, you will tell. The son refused, but two force teachers sewed him a star in his shirt. ” “And I immediately ripped it off,” Mr Igor recalls. He adds that when he answered a question in a questionnaire, he wrote the word “Lenin” in a small letter, and the word “God” in a capital letter. There was a scandal at school!
The brothers recall that at school the principal often called them on the line and humiliated them, calling them “dark”, “retarded”, “obscurantist” … The path to higher education was closed under such conditions. Only in the time of Ukraine’s independence did the brothers enter the higher education institutions, and some still catch up … “We do not hold the image,” the brothers claim.
At the time, the US gave shelter to those who were persecuted during the Soviet era. And in the 1990s, Scotts interviewed at the US Embassy and were given the opportunity to start living overseas.
“The oldest brother went to America is Stepan. My mother could hardly bear it, because at that time there was no telephone connection, only correspondence, – recalls the youngest of Scotts, Alexander. – The parents themselves wanted to stay in Ukraine. However, no one was denied, everyone had the right to make their own decision. ”
Today, five brothers live in the United States. They work in a successful transport company. Everyone has a home and a large family. By the way, when moving overseas from their last name lost one letter: here they are – Scotts.
We meet in Sacramento. “How are you? – smiles Stepan. And offers me water. – Water is energy and energy is movement. This is my life motto. I move a lot and drink at least 5 liters of water a day. In my 50 years running marathons. By the way, Saturday is the next race. Don’t you want with me? “
“What, is it a feat? – jokes 40-year-old Vlad. “We’re all athletes here, running is our hobby.”
The brothers say the first few years in the US were the hardest. They all lived together in Stepan’s apartment, which first moved here in 1997.
“But I never complained about life,” Stepan says. – My father taught me to always be together, so as soon as I arrived in the US, I started thinking about how to help my brothers get over here. Some people liked it here and some people didn’t. Emigration is not for everyone. ”
“I remember going to work in the morning and learning English in the evening. There are a lot of free schools here, ”says Vlad. – Someone worked on the construction, some – in the restaurant! .. ”
And then the brothers decided to work truckers. “We drove halfway across America,” says Nicholas. A few years later, they opened a shipping company across America. Over the decades, the staff has grown to several hundred employees with branches in Mexico and Ukraine. And not every third worker comes from Ukraine.
All brothers are married. They say that their wives are their best friends. “When we get together, women can’t talk,” the guys smile. – We should have dumplings at the festive dinner. Each housewife prepares her own. We already distinguish them even in size! And we love to sing Ukrainian songs together.”
There are frequent feasts: on average, every four days (!) There is one birthday in the Scotts family. It would! The family is really big! Stepan has 5 daughters, Vitalii has 5 sons, Vlad has 3 children, Sergiy has 6, Mykola has 5. And their brothers in Ukraine have even more children!
Igor, 48, who lives with his family near Lutsk, has 8 children! The man is studying for a doctorate in Evangelical Theological Seminary. Now he is the head of a farm that is engaged in growing flowers, grains, legumes. Lyudmila’s wife helps her husband. 43-year-old Anatoly also has 8 children, he lives in the village of Rakiv Forest, is a housekeeper. Anatoly’s life hung in the balance 20 years ago. “I had cancer of the blood and lymph nodes,” he says. – For almost a year I struggled with the disease. All the while praying, my family and church fasted, friends and acquaintances supported me. Now I support cancer patients, I advise not to lower my hands. It is necessary to live every day, because no one knows how many are spelled out.”
45-year-old Roman has seven children. By the way, he, having lived in the USA, returned to Ukraine. “At the end of 2002, I went overseas – a sweetheart I met in Ukraine,” the man says. – She and her family emigrated to America. There in 2003 we got married, I started my own business. In the seven years that he lived there, he flew to Ukraine more than 40 times, in fact he spent half of his time here. So in 2009, I decided to come back. “
The man is in logistics, has a bachelor’s degree in theology, and now receives the second higher world – economic. Recently, Roman has taken on the most difficult, as he says, project in his life – the House of Mercy, which takes care of homeless people. Andrei, 46, lives with his family in his own home near his parents – in the town of Kamen-Kashirsky. Has his own construction business. But two of his three children are in America.
“I didn’t go to the US and never regretted it,” he says. – But the sons have been studying there for a year. Sashko even started working for my brothers company. Let them live there, and then choose where to settle. ” By the way, Andrew and his wife are waiting for a family recharge! Alexander, the youngest son, is 35 years old. He is in business. He has four children.
54 grandchildren and two more on the approach
Brothers, despite the distance of 10 thousand kilometers, regularly meet – in Ukraine or America. The parents flew overseas three times – for their sons’ wedding. “American” Scotches arrive several times a year. Last summer, all ten gathered for their parents’ golden wedding.
“As soon as I walk into my parents’ house, I feel like my soul is resting,” says Stepan of the United States.
“We have 54 grandchildren, two on the approach – smiling happy mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. – We communicate with all our grandchildren. In the morning, I turn on my computer and see who does what. There was a lot of news in the family chat we created. Here is a photo of the Vitalik family – all assembled – shows a woman on the monitor. – Here is the morning dream of Igor’s daughters. Someone sings there, snow fell somewhere, I know everything. And they call every day. “
In January, at Christmas, the family plans to come together. By the way, in the United States brothers celebrate Christmas twice – December 25 and January 7. They say the main tradition is to go to church and have dinner in the family circle. “Wives negotiate with each other – and one prepares borsch, the other prepares dumplings, the third prepares a box, the fourth prepares a cake, and the fifth is responsible for salads,” says Nikolai.
“The main thing for happiness is not money, not career, not glory, but family and belief that everything will be good!” – says the oldest of the brothers, Stepan.
The rules of life of the Scotts family
Brothers in the United States say that in difficult times of life, they reread a postcard that their father once sent them. This is a Bible parable: “Sleep a little, sit a little, take another nap, fold your arms over your chest, then find you as a poor traveler, poor, and, like a good runner, needy. If you are not lazy, then the harvest will come as a source, and the need will flee like a bad runner. ” These words help men not lose the right direction in life. They say it was through hard work and mutual support that they were able to start their own businesses.
“My mother always said that it was not necessary to take offense, to take revenge. Life will put all dots above “and”. And his father said, Do not do to the people what you do not desire. So in our life we have never crossed the line of honesty, ”the brothers say.
“We are ordinary people, there are no ideal people,” says Mr Anatoly. – Of course, we make mistakes, we can get angry, something is bad to think about. But we try to follow your thoughts, because you sow the thought – you will reap the act. ”
“We don’t have” yours “or” mine. ” Even in business, we all have one thing in common! Says Vlad. – Of course, everyone is engaged in his own field, in which he understands more, but we do everything and decide together, this is our secret of success! ” “Trust in the family is very important.”
“We find time to talk to our parents every day, regardless of employment or other circumstances,” the brothers say. – They always gave us their attention. Now we try to treat our children the same way. ”