TAMPA, Fla. — Pastor Earl Henning broke down in tears while performing the "best song I've ever written in my life."
Henning, the youth pastor at Cypress Point Community Church in New Tampa, wanted to do something kind for coworker Hettie Reule, the children's pastor there.
He then wrote the catchy yet bittersweet country-rock shuffle called "A Couple Days Away."
The song is about Reule's parents who, a year ago at the start of the pandemic, both died of COVID-19 after being married for 58 years.
Ed and Margaret Powe, were "people who loved other people," Reule says. "They loved making other lives better."
The couple died just a few days and a few rooms apart at Baptist Hospital East in Memphis.
Reule says the hospital was truly compassionate in making her parents and entire family as comfortable as possible during a tragic time.
Pastor Earl was so moved by the love story of Ed and Margaret, he sat down at his kitchen table and wrote the song. He then recorded it with a crack local band.
He was nervous to play it for Reule, but he shouldn't have been.
She calls the song "an incredible gift," not just for her and her family, but every family that has suffered loss during the pandemic.