Tomorrow would have been my grandmother’s 101st birthday.
I recently heard our new dean tell her origin story as a first generation college student.
I am not. In fact, the grandmother I celebrate today, Lillian Bunin, was a math major at Hunter College, which makes me a third generation STEM nerd.
In addition to sharing an affinity for quantitative analysis, Grandma and I also shared summer camp. We spent twelve summers together. I was a camper and counselor; she ran the office. I think her official title was Camp Secretary. Today she would have been called the Office Manager or even the COO. One of my favorite memories that someone in the camp community shared after her passing in 2005:
The whole place ran on her shoulders, and she knew it and loved it that way….She worked tirelessly in an often thankless position, but she knew what her value was.
Grandma was in charge. People who know my mother, my sister, and me might suggest it runs in the family.
Grandma also liked to try new things. When she was 84, she got email. She signed her emails “Cyber Lil.”
Cyber Lil would have loved Facebook. One day I was surfing a camp-related memories page. Someone was reminiscing about the good old days and sharing old photos. There was Grandma smiling at me, looking elegant at a fancy event.
Grandma also loved Trader Joe’s and chocolate. On her birthday, I will celebrate with a milk chocolate truffle bar in her honor. Happy Birthday, Grandma!