Last Sunday I participated in an alternative to a baby shower called a Mother Blessing.

I knew I would enjoy it because my fun-loving, color-loving, people-loving daughter would be the expectant mother.

Not only did I enjoy this event, I was deeply moved.

Everything was exquisitely beautiful. We gathered at Coterie — a woman-focused co-working space in the

Frick Building penthouse in downtown Pittsburgh.

Twenty-five friends took turns offering blessings and a bead.

Photo: Becca Tudi. Co-hostess Kristi Powers guides the conversation.

Kate’s friends named her, offered words of encouragement, blessing, and prayer (including a funny, pointed one by Tina Fey).

Co-hostess Melissa Frost places a flower crown on Kate. So many special touches!

Co-hostess Melissa Frost places a flower crown on Kate. So many special touches!

The traditional shower gifts were absent.

Everyone contributed food, a blessing, and a bead to place in a necklace Kate will take with her when she goes into labor.

Many of the beads had stories — a grandmother’s rosary, special souvenirs, stones, antiques and brand-new ones.

As I listened to Kate’s friends offering her words of encouragement, I was struck by how many ways Kate has found community — Goshen College friends, clothing swap, bowling team, the business she shares with Emily Levinson, Propelle, and the Highland Park Kitchen Staples Co-op.

A number of women said Kate welcomed them as newcomers to Pittsburgh. The themes in their narratives were about Kate’s kindness and creativity, the very traits she exhibited from the time she was an infant herself.

I was flooded with memories of my baby girl.

I purchased these old baby clothes at my Grandfather Hess's sale. We wore them in early springtime 1984.

I purchased these old baby clothes at my Grandfather Hess’s sale. We had our pictures taken in springtime 1984.

Thirty-three years later, here we are.

Kate and me, Lydia at T-48 days and counting.

Kate and me, plus Lydia at T-48 days and counting. Psalm 139: 13 “For you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

The amount of love in that room moved most of us to tears at some point.

It lingered on as we enjoyed dinner at our favorite Pittsburgh restaurant with Nik and Stuart, who chose to go to a Pirates v. Yankees baseball game while we were doing our women thing.

Kate’s instinctive response was to wish everyone could be loved and named and cherished like she was.

I join her in this wish. And that’s where we need your help.

Is there someone in your life who needs a blessing? A note? A phone call? Maybe even a ritual? Please take an action of love. Maybe you’ll want to share an idea for others to consider. Remember, “Love is Like a Magic Penny.”

Do you recall participating in a blessing service of any kind that had meaning to you? Tell a bit of your story below!

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