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Within a week of our April arrival, we received a message from Cheryl's sister, telling us that their mother wasn't well. After helping their father through his nearly 2-year battle with cancer, Margie finally decided to focus on a curious pain she'd been having.

Within weeks, following tests and opinions, we learned that she had a very serious form of cancer. We were in shock as we waited for more information.

Overwhelmed with feelings, we wrote this song as a way to cope. It felt like an earthquake— everything normal one minute and then, devastation. Aftershocks rippled for weeks and months following the sudden unexpected situation. Our life changed without warning.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Awake at 4 am
Just couldn’t sleep in
Sensed something shifted while I slept
I felt the earth move

Then something deep within
Shuddered again
A tremor rumbled from beneath the earth
I heard a scream

From out of the dark
It seemed to have come . . . from me

Up to my knees in rubble
How can I know which way to turn
Half the roof has fallen ‘round me
Wires crackle, starting to burn

Over my head in trouble
Am I all alone in this mess
Everything is broken, shattered
I hardly recognize what’s left

My world has fallen apart
Without warning

I hardly recognize my life
Everything changes and moves
In an earthquake

Now nothing is the same
I felt the earth break
The shock of aftershocks has left me
Swaying, reeling

My world suddenly
From out of the blue, fell apart
Just how can it be
Reality shifts

Abandoning me


from Moment of Truth, track released March 1, 2009
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - Margie Tibbs


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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