Maggie’s Surprise Package

Maggie got a surprise package yesterday. Inside was this letter:

“June 8, 2012

Dear Maggie:

We haven’t met, but I saw your baby picture on Facebook the other day, and I was very excited! My name is Maggie, too…short for Margaret. There are not too many Margarets around anymore, and I wanted to send you this silverware. It belonged to your great-grandmother, Margaret Crutchfield Roy. Your great-grandparents, Andy and Margaret Roy, were Presbyterian missionaries and lived in exciting and wonderful places, and traveled all over the world. Over the years, they were given many interesting and amazing gifts of art and porcelain and ivory from China and Hong Kong. They lived long and happy lives. After Margaret died, your great uncle, Dr. David Roy, and my mom, Nancy Robertson, cleaned out the garage and the closets in the Pittsburgh apartment so that Andy Roy, who was almost 100 years old, could move to a smaller place.

David Roy was very generous and cavalier about giving away these items from his parent’s storage. He didn’t want them. He was sure that his brother, Stape, would not want them, and that your daddy and your uncles (who were young unmarried guys) would not want them. “Take them!” he said. “Take them all!” My mother and I loaded up her car with family heirlooms and knick-knacks and drove back to New Mexico where we live. We sorted the items fairly so that her sister, Aunt Sally (Robertson) Foster, could have some of the fascinating mementos for herself and for her children, too.

This silverware came to me because it is engraved with our name, Margaret. I believe it was given to your great-grandmother one piece at a time as she was growing up, by her relatives who loved her. When Margaret was a little girl over a hundred years ago, many young ladies were given nice silverware at Christmas and on their birthdays so that they might have a lovely set for entertaining when they were ready to marry and settle down. Margaret married, but her life was not one of settling down! They lived overseas for many years and usually ate with chopsticks. Margaret was not a materialistic person, but she kept this silverware from her childhood all of her life for sentimental reasons. I love this silver, but I have always thought that if Margaret Crutchfield Roy ever had a great-granddaughter (especially named Margaret) she would be very, very pleased for her to have it…to eat with, to play with, or to sell to pay for something she needs.

I loved and admired your great-grandmother, Margaret Roy, very much. She was an intelligent, gentle, and courageous woman who raised wonderful sons and made the world a better place. She was a role model to me because she was unafraid to go out in the world with the man she loved and do work that was important in spite of danger to her and her family. She was my great-aunt by marriage, and my father named me after her. I think we are lucky to share her name and heritage.

Maggie (Margaret Robertson-Linsky)”

The collection of silver forks, still in their original wrap.
Every piece is different, but they all are engraved with an “M” or “MC,” as shown here, for Margaret Crutchfield.

We are so excited to have a piece of Roy Family history, and especially to have something linked directly with Maggie’s namesake. We could not have been more surprised and touched by Maggie Robertson-Linsky’s thoughtfulness! What a treasure.