The game of destiny in Rjukan – NRK Culture and entertainment

Do you believe that everything in this life is random or are there forces outside of us that determine our lives? Well, Bill Bula is at least confident in his belief in destiny. Maybe it’s not so strange, when you hear what his family went through.

A chance encounter

Bill Bula lived in Canada, Lisbeth Østmo lived in Rjukan. In 1998, they were both guests at a bar in Spain. Bill saw a beautiful woman with long blonde hair who spoke Spanish. He didn’t let the opportunity pass.

– My mother is Norwegian, he told the woman, and the summer flirting was a fact. Lisbeth from Rjukan and Bill from Canada stayed in touch. And two years later, Lisbeth crossed the Atlantic.

Unknown son

Eventually, it emerged that Bill’s grandparents were actually from Lisbeth’s hometown of Rjukan.

And Lisbeth asked her father, at home, to dig a little deeper into family ties.

And rightly so. Bill’s grandfather was Ole Laugerud and left Rjukan for Canada in 1926. So did his grandmother Bertha. They met in their new country and had twin daughters. One of them became Bill’s mother.

Bertha probably died in childbirth and Ole Laugerud remarried.

But Lisbeth’s father learned more. Bertha had given birth to a son, Arne, before emigrating to Canada. Bill’s mother suddenly had a brother she didn’t know she had.

Photo: NRK

Home to meet a brother

Lisbeth and Bill kept all of this a secret from Bill’s mother. But when she got on the plane, en route to Bill and Lisbeth’s wedding in Norway, they spilled the beans.

– Now you go home and meet a brother, we told him. It was almost a little dangerous, she could have had a heart attack, says Lisbeth. But it went well.

When Bill’s mother met her brother, she was 60 years old, he was 62 years old. Berta had to give birth to her son Arne just before leaving for Canada.

– She probably intended to come get him afterwards, but it didn’t happen like that, said Lisbeth. – It wasn’t easy being a single mother in the 1920s, Bill said.

Although the two grew up separately, the family could see similarities. They had the same facts. The meeting was strong. “They cried and held each other all day,” Bill said.

Bill’s mother felt like some pieces had fallen into place that day. It was great for them to meet again after so many years.

Believe in destiny

Bill and Lisbeth therefore believe that it was destiny that brought them together in this Spanish bar 20 years ago.

– Even if the world has become small, it’s funny, said Lisbeth. We met by chance in a third country. And then it turns out that Bill has more family here in Rjukan than I do. Much more.

Bill is convinced. – I believe in destiny, he said. There is a reason why things are this way. The life we ​​have together in Norway now is very pleasant.

Listen to Radio Migrapolis Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on P2

24.10.2008, at 10.21

Alice Williamson

"Explorer. Food advocate. Analyst. Freelance bacon practitioner. Future teen idol. Proud pop culture expert."

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