A Simple Life

Born in New York, James lived in several places, including Oahu, throughout his youth. Gifted with a brilliant mind and profound respect for humanity, he was a free spirit who rejected wealth, greedy instead for adventure. He spent most of his life roaming the west, living off the land and working odd jobs. He visited his two daughters, Destiny and Krystal, whenever he could and always had a new story up his sleeve. Whether it was working as an Alaskan fisherman, renovating his boat, or building a Wi-Fi antenna out of an empty Pringles can, his stories always captivated them, listening wide-eyed and amazed. Their dad could do anything. The world was a gift to James, rich with new experiences. He dreamily recalls the excitement of Alaskan fishing, the adventure of calling a boat home. He laughs at his own accidents – a broken leg, broken neck, truck collision – even though they’ve caused him intense, unyielding pain ever since. Even now, diagnosed with chronic liver failure, James’ smile still comes easily, his jokes sharp and quick and witty as ever. Beneath that frail body is the same boundless passion for life.

Knowing his time was short, James came to Hawaii to live out his final days in paradise. Homeless and penniless, and in constant pain from his failing liver, he will always be indebted to Donna Lynn Rodriguez, his guardian angel, the founder of God’s Tithing Foundation who connected him with Hospice Hawaii. Under the care of our dedicated team, James was finally able to find relief from his suffering. For the first time in years, James wasn’t haunted by pain. He had a warm bed, a roof over his head, and a purpose.

It was then that James was determined to live out his life to the fullest, and made it his mission to be reunited with his daughter Krystal, whom he hadn’t seen in twelve long years. “She’s my baby,” he says affectionately, and it’s easy to see why – from the piercing blue eyes down to the carefree smile, she’s a spitting image of him. He recalls the week he spent with her in February as one of the greatest gifts of his life – it’s the simple things that mattered, and James needed nothing more.