Leslie Martel and Marilyn Armstrong


FROM swo8 (Leslie Martel): This weekend will be Mother’s Day. To commemorate it, we have created a photographic montage of families together. It includes eight generations of my family and three of Marilyn and Garry Armstrong’s families.

The song is bittersweet because to be a mother, is indeed bittersweet. Our children bring us our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. The couple in the video are my great-grandparents.

My great-grandmother died in childbirth, leaving 3 babies and a husband. When my great-grandfather remarried the children were sent off to their aunt to be raised.

The aunt is the lady sitting by the fireplace. The first photo of children is of my grandmother and her twin sisters. My grandmother being the oldest would have missed her mother the most. In spite of her early losses she became an extraordinary person and had a huge influence on me and my thinking.

To be a mother has got to be one of the most difficult endeavors to undertake in one’s life. We are given this helpless creature for a short period of time to nourish, educate and inspire before they disappear into the ether of adulthood.

As a tribute to all mothers, we dedicate this song, “Mother’s Waltz” composed by Leslie Martel. Photos by Leslie Martel and Marilyn Armstrong, and some are really quite old — memories of times before.

FROM Serendipity (Marilyn & Garry Armstrong): The melody of A Mother’s Waltz echoes in my mind. I feel as if it is something I remember hearing my mother sing a long time ago, but of course, it was written by Leslie with photos donated by both Leslie and Marilyn. Many of these pictures are old. Some are older than me and I’m getting up there.

The pictures of my family include my mother, me, much younger and my son as a toddler. Pictures of Garry’s family include his mother and father’s wedding, Garry’s dad back from WWII with little Garry on his knee. Garry’s mom as a young woman.

The pictures are family heirlooms that evoke strong and sometimes conflicted feelings.

Music by swo8, with pictures from Leslie Martel (swo8) and Marilyn Armstrong (from both all our families.

These are memories in music for all mothers.

Categories: #Photography, Marilyn Armstrong, Media, Mother and motherhood, Music, podcast, Video

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. This is wonderful, Marilyn. I didn’t realize until half way through that these were your family photos.. It is so well set up!!! Garry’s parents wedding was some event!!! All of these photos are so wonderful. Is the little blonde boy sitting with his bare feet up in the air your son? Gotta look at the whole thing again. It looks pofessionally made!


  2. I’m very melancholy, Marilyn. Although I’ve only “met” you both here, it’s as if, through this poignant video, music, and family stories, I’ve known you longer. I don’t know why I feel this, but the greatest generations, to me, are dying. I think of the ways my grandkids will be “viewing” their family history. Your words on being a mother touched my heart. I enjoyed every picture in the video and my regards to the absolutely beautiful music creator! My paternal grandmother was a twin (she was fraternal). I’m a twin. My maternal grandmother (her heavenly birthday is today~112 yrs) married at 15 and lost her first husband and child in a house fire. She remarried and had Mom and 6 siblings (one who died soon after birth). I hope to keep sharing family history with my sons. There’s such richness in knowing how we were shaped by family that’s long gone from here. You both have such beautiful families. Thank you for sharing this. Marilyn, who was the young boy in the wash tub?


    • It is sad, at first, but then after a while — it takes a long time, but everyone comes around eventually — we realize that in all lives, the older generations pass and the children become older, then oldest. And so it goes. The boy in the washtub was my brother. He died more than 12 years ago and I still miss him. He was way too young.

      My mother passed in 1983. An eternity ago yet even today, I want to call her and just chat.

      At this point, both Garry and I are the senior members of our families. Yes, it’s sad, but every generation deals with this and will deal with it as long as there are generations remaining. Every life ends. It’s a reality check for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beautiful, Marilyn. So true. Thank you again for sharing!


        • Half of my friends died young including my brother, mother, my first husband and half a dozen close friends. The rest? Many have mental issues – dementia — and the remainder are as fine as older people ever are. Garry, at 81, is NOT the oldest of his friends.

          Life is not assured. Not even tomorrow or an hour from now. Anything can happen and while some deaths are from disease and take time, others are like a bolt from the sky. We had two friends die of what I have to assume were strokes because they both said, “I feel funny” and were gone a minute later. To me that seems like an excellent exit. Quick and clean.

          Liked by 1 person

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