Mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Marjorie loved us and loved her “work.” She didn’t think of it as work.
One might have called it philanthropy. But for her, it was a way of life — filled with joy and focused on justice.
A daily effort she treated as a near full-time calling … vigorous, connected, graceful and grateful.
“Ask what they need — and then listen closely,” she would say.
She deeply honored the role and perspective of people inside the issues she hoped to face. She taught us all the importance of working with people, not on them.
One afternoon, while reading through thank-you notes she received for gifts she had made, she paused.
The note could have been from a young person whose summer job she supported in Detroit or whose college tuition she was covering in Palm Beach County. A child who received dental care from the mobile unit she founded in West Palm Beach or an artist she admired and supported. An HIV/AIDS researcher she helped or the Federation she cared for. One of the early childhood educators from the Brightmoor neighborhood in Detroit or someone from the food bank.
A note like the one Rev. Larry Simmons, executive director of the Brightmoor Alliance, sent to the community just after her death saying, “As Brightmoor continues to soar upward, we rise upon the gentle breath of Mrs. Marjorie Fisher, who always had our backs and never tried to seize the lead.”
It could have been the note you wrote.
As she put the note down, she said, “I will never be able to give enough to make up for how grateful I am for these families who have allowed me into their lives.”
‘TRUE MEANING OF GIVING’
Marjorie taught us the true meaning of giving. She felt all involved in this work were donors and doers. And all deserved the gratitude for allowing others into their hearts.
Those families who face the daily challenges of survival, those who dedicate their lives and careers to reducing those challenges, those who give their time or bring ideas and experience to the effort, those who change laws to make them more just and those who give resources to fuel the work.
Marjorie would want us to thank you.
Thank you for all you have done and will do to make this place — however we define this place — a better place.
She would want us to thank you for allowing her into your lives, your hearts.
And, although we don’t think we can speak for all of you — we’re going to try. When she said she could never give enough — today, we say on your behalf, “She gave enough! She gave enough of herself and her heart.”
We, her family and loved ones, would say she was always more than enough!
‘RESPECT AND COMPASSION’
So, what would she want us to do?
She once said, “Every day, I want you to wake up and go to the mirror and say ‘I love you, and I am proud of you’ … now, what are you proud of? Go out there and do something you can be proud of — every day.”
She would want us to love each other, treat each other with respect and compassion. She would want us to fill up our hearts and get out there and do something we can all be proud of — serve, listen, advocate, teach, mentor, give.
Let’s continue to do the work she loved so much — and that so many in our community dedicate their lives to each and every day — so we can all be proud of each other and our community.
The Fisher Family