• 70°

Power in Partnership speaker calls crowd to find their passion

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — David Haynes was asked a question in 2008: “What’s your passion?”

He had no answer for the 24-year-old woman, Jessica, who asked the question and had already for her passion. But he found his answer three years later and shared his story to a large audience at Thursday morning’s Rowan Chamber Power in Partnership at Trinity Oaks.

Years ago, Haynes was touring a hospital in which one of the stops was the neonatal intensive care unit. On the wall — called “the wall of hope” — were handprints and footprints with names and dates of birth. One stuck out; it said 7 ounces, the weight of a baby girl at her birth.

Haynes got the opportunity to meet that baby 24 years later. That girl, Jessica, was working at the same hospital she spent the first 16 months of her life. At just 8 years old, Jessica decided she wanted to be a nurse.

Jessica told Haynes she enjoyed spending time with the young moms and dads, encouraging them.

“‘I cry with them. I sing with them. I pray with them. I hug them. I am just there, and that’s the greatest part of my job, and if this is all I ever do for the rest of my career, this is my passion. I will feel like my life is important,’” Haynes said, recalled his conversation. “Then she looked up at me. ‘David, what’s your passion?’”

The questioned bothered him. It bothered him that he didn’t have an answer.

He found his answer in 2011 when he and his wife made a decision to move his wife’s 90-year-old dad to assisted living. One visit, a CNA asked his father-in-law if he wanted to go to the balloon toss. The residents and CNA tossed the balloons for 35 minutes.

Haynes said he sat on the side of the wall with his $1,000 suit and cellphone “acting all good and important.”

It hit him as he looked at his father-in-law and the other residents, he said.

“I thought, ‘I wonder why God is allowing these people to live with all this pain and things they don’t even understand,’” Haynes said. “Then it hits me. He’s not finished with him yet. They still have a purpose.”

Haynes asked himself: what was he doing with his life. He took his jacket off, tucked his tie into his shirt and joined the balloon toss.

On the way home, he stopped in the neighbor’s driveway. He was shaking. On Thursday, he compared it to the Grinch when he is on the mountaintop with his dog and looking down on the village singing.

“I really felt I had been changed from what I saw with that little circle with the residents,” Haynes said. “And then it hit me. I got the answer for that little nurse’s question she asked me three years ago. What’s your passion? Serving seniors.”

He also told the audience that he arrived early to the breakfast event and ended up in the wrong building. 

But he spoke to three seniors — Cindy, Leon and Randy — while in that wrong building. And when he made his way to the right spot, Haynes recalled thinking to himself, “If this event right here was canceled and I had to go back home, the 15 minutes I just spent with this lady and her two friends that was worth the drive.”

For those still looking, passion can be found, Haynes said.

“What is your passion?” Haynes asked. “If you have not found it or if you haven’t even thought about it, I hope these next few days going into the new year you will. You can find it on this very campus right outside these doors. There’s opportunities to serve.”

Michael Walden, N.C. State profession and economist, will be the speaker of Jan. 16 Power in Partnership breakfast. He will talk on the 2020 economic outlook.

Comments

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call

Crime

Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl

Crime

Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck

Local

Rowan Social Services director takes new job in New Hanover County; Heidrick to retire

Ask Us

Ask us: Will masks be required in Rowan County polling locations?

Elections

Political Notebook: Tillis, Cunningham differ on when to fill SCOTUS vacancy

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election