Last Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge had yet another royal engagement. This time she visited a local children’s hospice and spent time with families and children of all ages. According to their website, the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice cares for over 600 families living in western London, Surrey and West Sussex. That’s a lot of children. That’s also an enormous opportunity to bring some joy and happiness into the lives of these sick kids, many of whom have life debilitating illnesses and won’t make it into adulthood.
To be honest, I always look forward to Kate’s charity outings more than I do to her formal royal duties. Alright, they’re all technically formal with varying levels of regimented social decorum. Still, the charity work with children is my favorite because she has such a huge impact on so many children’s lives.
Not that I don’t enjoy seeing the Duchess looking elegant in a tiara (like she wore on Tuesday for the Diplomatic White Tie Reception at Buckingham), but I feel that these visits strike a personal chord with Kate, especially now that she’s a new mom.
I may not be a mom, but I can relate to these experiences on another level. Every few months I visit with local veterans in the area. All it takes is a few hours of my time to just talk and listen. A seemingly simple task, but it can be emotionally draining at times.
I’d like to think that by giving back to these men and women, who have fought America’s past wars, that I’m having a positive impact in their life. That for the one hour we played bingo or chatted about the weather that I made their day a little brighter. I feel it’s part of my job as a veteran to give back to an older generation of war vets. I know one day if I’m ever in their position that I’d appreciate it if America’s youth would pay me a visit.
As fulfilling as it is to hear these men and women’s fantastic and jaw dropping stories, I always leave the hospital with a profound sense of sadness and humble pie. One day that could be me or Max or any of our other friends serving in the military.
As a new mom, I’d like to think that’s how Kate feels every time she visits a children’s hospice. She’s been blessed with a healthy baby boy unlike many of the families at these hospices. I’m sure she looks forward to visiting these children and families much like I look forward to visiting local vets. It’s a humbling and heart wrenching duty, but the end result – the smiles and memorable stories – are well worth it.
I look forward to more of Kate’s charity work and
wish pray that the media would stop doting on her attire and hair style and start reporting on what really matters.