It hurts to say that my dear wife, Geri Rei, was called home to heaven on May 1, 2018. As many of you are aware Geri was the inspiration behind Bountiful Rei's. Each design created tells a story not just about her but about struggles in life as a whole. We all go through them its a matter of how we go through them. And that is the message of Bountiful Rei's. There is always hope, together we can get through anything. Geri lived and breathed hope through her faith and family. Until the end Geri fought not for her life but because she loved life. Geri loved spending time with family and friends. She brought joy and hope to many not by words but by the way she loved. Her example is a roadmap to true happiness. Geri's strength came from prayer. She prayed for others most of all. Geri offered to the Lord what she was going through for others. She always thanked the Lord for bringing such wonderful people into her life. Geri made many lasting friendships beyond this life for one simple reason. She loved with all she had.
The face of the woman indicates a strong silence. Her eyes are closed showing she is deep in thought. Her head is lowered in respect. The slight smile shows hope. That things will be okay. I tried to capture most of the qualities of womanhood in this design. Walking with Geri on this journey I got to see all the qualities of womanhood first hand which includes being a wife, daughter, sister, mother & grandmother. Geri was the inspiration for Bountiful REI'S. The pink colors represent those fighting cancer, caregivers & their families. The eagles flying are ascending toward heaven. Eagles are a good sign. As a child, Geri's grandmother called her Wia Hunska and the name stuck with her. In Lakota in means Tall Woman. She definitely has lived up to her name and then some. WIA HUNSKA! Geri means so much to many of us. I have been extremely blessed to be her husband. We love you and miss you. God bless dear family and friends. Bountiful REI'S will continue in the memory of Geri & all those who continue their fight. We will fight along side you. Thank you all. God Bless.
I am happy to announce a new direction for Bountiful REI'S. We will continue to sell t-shirts and other apparel which will serve as one tool of spreading the message of family & hope. Part of the proceeds from t-shirts & apparel will be donated to the Bismarck Cancer Center.
We will now be selling prints available in two sizes 12x12 and 16x16. Designs are printed on canvas and stretched over a square wooden frame. These ready to hang pieces of art will look great on any wall at home or in an office. Each piece will also make a great gift. The reason for this venture is to expand what Bountiful REI'S is doing to raise awareness for cancer.
By raising cancer awareness we can address the many needs that families face when a loved one is fighting cancer. Cancer not only affects the person who has it but it also affects the entire family. Everything changes in a family when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. The daily worries of life, kids, work and other normal family concerns are enough for any one family to deal with.
We still mourn the loss of Geri, my wife, a grandmother, a mother, daughter, sister. She is missed everyday. Our world was turned upside down when Geri was first diagnosed in 2014. Our hearts were broken May 1, 2018 when she was called home to heaven.
During our fight, we not only had to deal with the day to day things that happen in a family we also had to deal with the realization that Geri was in for the fight for her life. Initially, me and Geri tried to juggle everything ourselves but we were so quickly overwhelmed by everything. We finally stepped back and let God guide our decisions. That was such a freeing moment for the both of us. We felt we could finally breath. We were so blessed along the way. The generosity and outpouring of prayers and financial help was tremendous. People prayed with us and for us. People brought us over supper. We received help with our rent and other medical expenses. We received help with lodging, meals and gas for our three trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The help we received from everyone cannot be put into words. My heart jumps for joy when I think back at the love people shared with us and the love we shared with them. Geri was so full of love even in her pain and suffering her mind was always on the needs of others. She worried about me and our children as any mother and wife would.
Geri always wanted to make sure everyone was thanked for what they did for us. She kept them in her prayers and she wrote them down in her prayer journal. Geri cried tears of joy when I told her what someone did for us. She made sure I knew I had to thank them if she could not. This new endeavor is my way to say thank you to everyone on behalf of our family. This is something Geri would want done. Art has been a way to bring healing to our family. Every piece is reflective of our journey. Each piece was done at a certain time and it explains what we were going through at that particular time that words cannot describe. I am honored to share our journey with you even though it still hurts.
Part of the proceeds from the t-shirts and art sold will be donated to the Bismarck Cancer Center. The Bismarck Cancer Center can in turn help those who are in need like we were when we went through our journey. Bountiful REI'S is passing on the gifts we received to those who are in need just as we were. God Bless you all and know that you are in our prayers.
As Native Americans we pass on our culture and traditions through story telling and by the way we live. Our stories are told and expressed in many different ways. By song, dance, ceremonies, oral tradition, language and art. Bountiful Rei's is our story expressed through art and it is a story about struggle, survival and suffering. It is also a story about love, hope, faith, sacrifice and family. Native American art is highly expressive through the use of symbols and imagery. Much of the imagery conveys different meanings and its use of imagery stirs the mind and soul. The underlying dimension in Native American culture is family. Family is one of the most important aspects of Native American culture. That dimension of family is highly represented in and through Native American art. Bountiful Rei's. . . is FAMILY.