Looking back, it seems like only yesterday.

There I was, perched precariously on the edge of the church pew like a small bird ready for flight. My tiny feet didn't even reach the floor.

But I was secure. Mother sat beside me.

As I held her hand, my eyes followed hers to the strong voice that boomed from the podium. His words filled the room. And even though I wasn't quite sure what the tall kind-looking man was talking about, I completely understood when he spoke my name.

"This is the favorite song of Edna Hale's daughter, Lucille."

That was me! The minister was talking to me! It was as if God himself had spoken the words.

And they were true. I loved that special hymn, "In the Garden." Why? Because it was Mother's favorite song, too.

"I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses ..."

If I squeezed my eyes shut, I could see Mother walking in that garden. A place filled with beautiful flowers. And in my mind's eye, she was enjoying the fragrance and prettiness of each one.

Roses were her favorite. And through many summers, Mother carefully tended her backyard gardens. Lilies, hollyhocks, daisies and roses — always roses — flourished under her care.

Mother not only enjoyed caring for flowers, but she also loved nurturing me. One of her greatest joys was seeing me grow to know God's love.

It's remarkable how a mother's heart can influence her child. How a mother's example can set her child's path.

Sunday after Sunday, she and I sat side by side. Row six, first two seats on the right — our perfect attendance pins shining brightly on our church attire.

As the years passed, high heels replaced my Mary Jane shoes, and pinafores danced their way into memories. But some things didn't change.

For countless sunlit Sabbaths, our voices rose in unison as we sang our beloved hymn.

"I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses ..."

There by Mother's side, I learned the wisdom of listening to God's voice.

"And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the son of God discloses."

The importance of spending time in God's presence.

"And he walks with me and he talks with me ..."

And the assurance of a personal relationship with him.

"And he tells me I am his own ..."

For 93 years, Mother loved that song. It spoke of her spiritual garden — a daily journey into that quiet place of prayer.

Then one day, while the "dew was still on the roses," her savior called her home.

Even now, if I close my eyes, I can picture her there.

"And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."

Lucy Luginbill is a career television producer-host and the Spiritual Life editor for the Tri-City Herald. In her column, she reflects on the meaning of her name, "Light Bringer." If you have a story idea for Light Notes, contact her at lluginbill@tricityherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.