Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Nikko Marott, 1948-2010
Auwe, our dear friend Nikko passed away on Wednesday, July 28. He had been in Hilo Medical Center for three weeks, which was a difficult time for him and those of us watching over him, made tolerable only by the very kindhearted nursing staff at the hospital. Prostate cancer is usually fairly minor, but because N had had cancer previously, it was more aggressive in his body. Nikko could be a grouchy curmudgeon on occasion but this was just a small aspect of a truly radiant and beautiful soul. He reached out in friendship to the Hawaiian community and in his last days was rewarded by many visitors chanting, blessing, dancing, and singing to him as he lay in his room at HMC.
Nikko's father Jim, his brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Debby, came from California to be with him along with his close friends Everett Charters and Pamela Pierron. The room was filled with love and tender caring.
Nikko's last philanthropic gesture was to create his "1000 Cranes Project" to benefit the Hospice of Hilo. Most of the strands of origami birds, stamped with tapa motifs and folded by Nikko and friends, have been spoken for. But some will still be available at the gallery, with a suggested donation of $30 to the Hospice. They are really beautiful, and a touching reminder of Nikko and real evidence of his handwork.
We held a pa'ina (party) for Nikko at David Ellis' house in the front of Puna Palisades, on Saturday July 31. Puna Keli'iho'omalu and Kawika provided wonderful Hawaiian music. Kids from the Kukulu Kumuhana program and Uncle Robert Keli'ihoomalu's extended family presented some dances and then frolicked in the pool, and kumu Frank Kawaikapu Hewitt did a beautiful blessing over our potluck feast. Later we scattered some ashes down at the point overlooking Kehena Beach, in the soft twilight, as Willy Cole chanted in praise of our home on Ka Moku o Keawe, the Big Island.
Mau ke aloha ia 'oe, beloved friend and brother!