Goodwin, Dorothy Lanier (Dottie)
A poem from Dorothy: When I am dead, cry for me a little, but not too much. It is not good for you to dwell too long on the dead. Think of me now and again, as I was in life, at some moment which is pleasant to recall, but not for long. Leave me in peace as I shall leave you, too, in peace. While you live, let your thoughts be with the living.
I was born on August 12, 1946 and please do not tell anyone how old I am. My birth mother abandoned me at the bus station in Jacksonville by asking a nearby woman to watch me while she went to the bathroom, she never came back. The police called the then Juvenile Court Judge, Marion Gooding, who with his wife and oldest daughter picked me up and delivered me to the most loving couple, Francis and Benny Lanier, who adopted me. They were the most wonderful family that any girl could want. I always knew that my birth mother was out there, and perhaps siblings, but I could not find them.
I grew up in Coral Gables, FL, and moved to Jacksonville in my senior of High School. I went on to graduate from Jacksonville University School of Nursing and began my career at Baptist Hospital in the Cath Lab. Marriage came next, moving to Hawaii, and then Arizona. We returned to Jacksonville and back to Baptist Hospital.
The marriage did not work and divorce followed. Then in June of 1984, a good friend introduced me to who was to become the love of my life, Jim Goodwin. Our first date was to a Jacksonville Expos baseball game, because Jim was a part owner of the team. I was mad because he did not pay a lot of attention to me, but he explained he was “at work”. I never told Jim that I did not like baseball.
I left Baptist and took a position at University Hospital, treating children with cancer. I could only do this for two years, as the deaths of the children I was treating got me down. I wanted to give Jim a child but had two miscarriages, I never recovered from that.
Jim and I purchased a lot and began to build a home in Marsh Landing. Jim was good to me as he allowed me to furnish the home as I wanted, I loved you for that.
Jim retired from Barnett Bank and sold his interest in the baseball team (thank God) in 1994 and we returned to a normal life, with Jim being home for dinner every night. I wanted to do something with myself, so I went to work selling automobiles at Tom Bush BMW and then at Parrish Volvo. Jim went to work for Toyota and when the opportunity came around to move to Atlanta, we did.
I loved living in Atlanta, shopping, more shopping, and the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead was just the best. We returned to Ponte Vedra Beach in 2003, to our home at the Players Club. Again Jim allowed me to decorate the home as I saw fit, I again loved Jim for that.
In August of 2014 I got sick and spent the entire month in the Mayo Clinic Hospital. I was diagnosed with dementia, but with the wonderful help of Jim and a team of caregivers, I was able to return home and lead a somewhat normal life. I never knew when the sickness would return. It has and I am having to leave this life that I have loved. I want to say THANK YOU to all the wonderful caregivers I have had, especially to my KARIMA, who for the last year was with me every night. I love you so much and all the things you did for me, God Bless you. To my Doctors, Brian and Tia Stephens, you were the best and I know you tried as hard as you could. To my niece Lori, thank you for making the last week of my life bearable. To the staff at Heartland Hospice, I give you all of my live, you were GREAT.
And finally, to the greatest loves of my life that I leave behind, Jim, my loving Jim, as I told you this week, “I love you with all my heart”. I wish you peace and happiness. And to my beloved Westie, Taitanger, you will be 13 on May 1, I am sorry that I will not be there to celebrate with you. Help keep your Dad safe.
To all of my friends, I loved you all and will miss you so much, but I have a place that is calling me. When you come this way alone, I’ll greet you with a smile and say, “Welcome Home”.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 5 at Ponte Vedra Valley. All my love, Dorothy.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in my name to the Jacksonville Humane Society on Beach Blvd.