A Cheerful Heart Brings a Smile

January 20, 2021


By Terrie M. Roberts

Daisy Rudd Heitner is 96 years young. With a peaches and cream complexion, a twinkle in her eyes and a smile that rarely leaves her face, she exhibits a joie de vivre that is refreshing for someone her age.

“I honestly don’t know why I’m so happy,” she says. “Even when I was a child my teachers always said that I was always happy and smiling. I guess it’s the Holy Spirit.”

The Oaks of Louisiana resident, who lives independently at Garden Apartments at The Oaks, has had her share of tragedy, having outlived her husband, her 18-year-old son and more recently her 70-year-old daughter, but a strong faith has sustained her. She shares stories of her beloved son and daughter, noting on this day she is hanging up photos of her son, her voice cracking, the pain of his loss still felt all these years later.

“I depend on the Holy Spirit entirely,” Daisy says.

She moved to The Oaks three years ago at the suggestion of a friend whom she depended on for advice and counsel. She had relocated to Shreveport eight years earlier after a lifetime in Waskom, where she was born, but felt one more move was necessary.

“I was thinking of moving somewhere I would be taken care of when I needed to be and my friend said, ‘The Oaks is a well-run place.’ I remember his words exactly.”

Daisy had begun to feel afraid and less secure living alone. That The Oaks is the only gated senior living community in the area and there is 24/7 campus patrol and emergency response was exactly what she needed for peace of mind.

“I made the right decision. I am happy,” she says.

Her days are full – there is Bible study, lunch with friends Frances Perego, Bobbie Harlan and Lillian Bares, bridge games off campus, attending programs and taking part in various activities.

“I walk out my door and turn left and go into the Chapel for church; I turn right and there is my dining room. The Lord is gracious.”