FAIRFIELD — Tim Woodson woke up in his own bed New Year’s Day.
When 2013 dawned, he was hospitalized. He had a heart attack Dec. 22, 2012. Woodson shared his story Sept. 27, 2013 with Daily Republic readers.
Since then he celebrated his 50th birthday at Disneyland, resumed two family holiday traditions he had to skip in 2012 and launched a cardiac support group.
That’s just the beginning. He’s now a stay-at-home dad able to drive his teen sons to school, then walk the mall for exercise. Woodson has also trained to become a driving instructor for the AARP mature driving course.
Each day is another day of life, another opportunity to live life to its fullest.
“I am looking forward to a new life, new experiences,” he said of the year ahead.
He looks back fondly on the past year, choosing to focus on the good things: the number of new people he has met, those he has been able to help through their own recovery and the opportunity to pursue a new career while still being able to feed his hunger for art.
His most recent test results came back with the healthy result he had hoped for. Now, if he can only acquire a taste, and more recipes, for his vegetarian diet.
“I was such a huge food person,” he said. “I’d eat anything and everything.”
Daily Republic readers were introduced to Vacaville resident Abe Bautista in April 2013, a month after his second kidney transplant. The first one, done in 2011, only worked briefly.
With no restrictions, Bautista is traveling, including a trip to Hawaii to see his grandchildren. Food tastes like it should. He’s back to playing the guitar and putting pictures into his computer.
“I keep my mind busy,” he said. “I’m not ready to go into the rocking chair.”
Bautista is focusing on relationships. He’s looking up old classmates, staying in touch with them.
And he’s taking life one day at a time, letting go of pressure.
In June 2013, 15 organizations invited the public to share in the founding of Common Ground, a broad-based, nonpartisan alliance that seeks to build strong relationships within and across communities.
Earlier in the same month, Voces Unidas, a member of Common Ground, spearheaded a visit from the consulate general of Mexico from San Francisco to assist immigrants with Mexican identification cards and passports.
Ana Dineen, with Voces Unidas, said her organization hopes to do the same this year. In the interim there’s plenty going on with Common Ground since it’s an election year, she said.
While Common Ground doesn’t endorse candidates, it wants to offer community members a chance to have dialogue with the candidates.
Homelessness is another issue Common Ground will tackle this year, she said.
“We are starting to get to know each other’s institutions on a deeper level,” Dineen said. “We are looking at the things we can work on together.”
Travis Credit Union and the Guru Nanak Sikh temple have come on board recently, Dineen said. There’s also talk of expanding beyond the communities already involved.
“American Canyon and the city of Napa are still somewhat untouched,” she said. Vallejo, Benicia and Fairfield are the most-represented cities in Common Ground.
Fahima Khoram and her family rang in the new year in a new home. The former Afghan doctor was honored last year by Soroptimist International of Central Solano County for her efforts to better her life as well as that of her husband and three children.
They came to the United States four years ago, with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Khoram recently earned a certificate as a medical assistant. She will return to Solano Community College in a few weeks with the goal of getting an office technology certificate. She hasn’t been able to find full-time work and said she would love to work in the medical field again.
Daily Republic readers first met Khoram in March 2013. In July 2013, she and her family were featured in an article about the lives they left behind and their hopes for the American dream.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.