A Kind Thank You


Dear faithful readers of Punk Rock Mommy,

This post is to inform of the sad end of the Punkrockmommy blog. Due to some recent changes in the dynamics of the household, this blog will be discontinued. On behalf of my siblings, I need to say thank you all so much. You not only helped my siblings and I through your numerous donations and gifts, you also helped us with your kindness. You were all there to listen to us pour out our hearts to some of you. However, you helped someone much more than you helped us. You helped my Mother fight through her battle with Cancer every day. The blog was one of the few things she looked forward to every day. She was able to express her thoughts here that, frankly, she could not express to anyone. We were all privileged to my mother’s diary. She loved reading your comments and well-wishes and talking to those of you to whom she, sadly, never got to meet. I want to thank all of you who brought food, threw benefits, cleaned our house, bought clothes, or just came over and sat around with our family. I never knew people could be so genuinely good. You have all proven to me that there is still a glimmer of hope left in our world and you have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. I am happy to say that I am eternally indebted to you. Thank you all so much.

~Alec Collins (The one in college)

61 Responses to “A Kind Thank You”

  1. Maureen says:

    Goodbye Collins Family.

    I will truly miss you.

    I hope that you all live happy and healthy lives.

    You have enriched my life beyond explanation.

    My day will not be the same now that I don’t have this blog to check on. Its the end of a chapter.

    Please be well.

    Maureen, Akron Ohio

  2. joshua says:

    still love you all! even w/o the blog!! it was a great run, though.

  3. Deb in AZ says:

    When there was no posting for such a long time, I was afraid the blog would be ending and it makes me sad. I never met any of you, but came to care about you all through the postings. When Andrea died I felt a sadness as if I knew her, and felt a kinship not only to the family, but the others who posted here. I hope the “change in the dynamics of the household” is not a bad one. Take care of each other, be well and happy.

    Deb in Arizona

  4. Loni says:

    im sorry to see this end…I hope all is well with everyone.
    thank you for all that youve shared with us online and andrea will never be forgotten. Loni

  5. Amy Sherwood says:

    Collins-Smith Family;

    Even though the Punkrockmommy blog will discontinue….the messages that Andrea brought in her blogs will be carried with me everyday of my life.

    May each and everyone of you find the happiness and peace in life that you deserve.

    All of you will continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers.

    Amy Sherwood
    Lincoln, Ne

  6. Maura says:

    Dear Alec & family

    Though this is a very sad event, I for one truly understand. I hope and pray that you and your siblings follow through with all your amazing mom’s wishes. You guys are blessed to have had the love and strength of your close knit family.

    I do hope everyone is ok & perhaps one day you will be able to just let us know how eberyone is progressing.

    All my love


  7. Tess says:

    We all truly understand this transition and we will all miss you and will continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. This is something that does not go and we will never think of again. Take care all of you-we know Andrea is taking good care of each one of you! Maybe we will meet around the neighborhood.

  8. gin says:

    I hope and pray that you all find peace during this time in your journey. Your story, your mom’s battle as well as yours, will forever be etched in my memory. All my best, Gin @ the furrypad.

  9. ByJane says:

    You, your family and your mother are forever in my heart.

  10. diane says:

    Alec, while you thank everyone for their generosity, I will thank you for yours. This blog was a blessing to all who read it. It was happy, sad, thought provoking and life changing.

    Thank you all. Bless you all. Happiness to you all. And most importantly, wonderful memories of Andrea to you all.

  11. Suzysoo says:

    I will miss all of you and I will not forget any of you. Love and Peace always x

  12. Toni Alperin Goldberg says:

    Alec and siblings……thank you for this final dialogue that we may savor along with our memories of your Mom and her extraordinary children.
    This chapter has ended but life’s twists and turns may still have a story to be told. Whatever the eventual outcome, this past year has provided so many of us with a renewable spirit of friendship and compassion and has sparked inner reflection in many of us. We thank your dear mother for drawing us into her world with all its elements of pain, loss and yes, joys. Her unerring and unending respect for who you kids are and who she knew you could become resonates loud and clear and we are very proud of all of you. Her plan is in place…….follow the lead.
    May life be good to all of you as the journey continues.

  13. alaina says:

    Alec and family,

    I will miss the updates on all of you but I too understand. You know, often times when I lay down to say my prayers and get ready for sleep, I think of Andrea, I think of all of you. While Im saying my prayers I ask God if I can say hello to her. She understood me and what it meant to be a mother/wife living with stage IV cancer. Your mother touched me in my life and that will never change. So, you all will remain in my prayers for the rest of my life. I hope as each of you grow up and do all the wonderful things your Mom knew you would do, that I some how hear about some of them. God bless you all in your life journey!

  14. Jennifer North says:

    Thanks so much for letting us all know where we stand. Would you mind just giving us one more post that will tell us where to donate to:

    IBC research and education
    Collins-Smith college education fund
    Ongoing emergency family needs

    Be well!

  15. Mary Brady Begnardi says:

    I will never forget your mom or any of you. I am waiting happily for the birth of my son in March and will continue to be inspired by Andrea. I hope I can be even one tenth of the mom she was. I know it probably sounds silly, but I will think of her like a guardian angel. God bless you.

  16. Gigi says:

    Thank you, Andrea and family for opening the window to your lives so that in some small way, we could all be a part of your journey.

    Little did I know that just a few months after finding your mother’s blog that my own precious husband would be diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. His battle was fast and furious. I lost him 3 weeks ago yesterday…just one day shy of four months from the date of his diagnosis.

    Now, I truly understand. Be well, Collins family. God Bless…

  17. Heather says:

    I’m so sorry to see you go. I just started reading a couple of months ago and have enjoyed keeping up with you. I wish you all well.

  18. Michelle Wienke says:

    Alec & family-
    I too, can only say what others have already-I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers. Your mother was such an inspiration to so many-myself included.
    She had big dreams for you kids, and the knowledge that she had done her best to raise confident and conscientious children-there can be no greater gift to our society.
    I will think of you all often, pray for you daily and miss you all forever-please know that your mom lives on in the hearts of so many of us-I’m sure she is with you also!
    Peace and love to all of you during this season-and beyond.
    It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you!

  19. Tina, French Creek, WV says:

    I pray that I never forget you and your family. Following this blog has been a great privilege. God Bless you all and thank you so much for sharing your lives with us.

  20. Rebecca & Jesse says:

    You all are still in our thoughts.

    Rebecca & Jesse

  21. Janice says:

    Although I have never met any of you, you have all touched my life in an amazing way. I wish you all the best in your future and Im sure you will all do very well as you have had an incredible foundation. Please hold your memories close and carry on your mothers wonderful spirit.
    Be Well.

  22. Cheri Thiel says:

    This blog has helped me on my own cancer journey. God bless each of you. Your family will be in my prayers.

  23. Debbie says:

    May your Mom continue to guide you through your journey in your memories. She was one in a million and such a strong & brave individual who we all grew to love as well as her wonderful family. May God be with you all in your continued healing process. Thank you for sharing with us and help us in return to be better people.

  24. Ed says:

    To Andrea’s Family,
    Of all my patients, none has made more of a difference in my life than did Andrea. I learned so much from her about how to truely do life. I was amazed by what she accomplished in that last year, and through you all, she truely lives.

    The best to all of you for a long and happy life….Ed

  25. Alexis says:

    It’s going to be sad, not having this site here. It brought me a lot closer to your family and gave me an even deeper, genuine desire to get to know you guys, face to face.

    I love you all. I hope things smooth out.

  26. Renee Khan says:

    Alec you really are your Mother’s son. You are eloquent. That is a wonderful picture of you and your Mom.

    God bless you Alec and all your brothers and your sister.

    I too have IBC and your mother was a great support to me.

    I hope that you have the very best life. xoxoxo

    Love Renee Khan

  27. Kristine says:

    through my own family events I found that there is good in strangers…carry this with you and remind your siblings of it as they grow and learn…it is this knowledge that makes our world a better place. The knowledge that we are all connected and without each other we are nothing.

    may you and your family continue to find peace ~

  28. MaryLeigh S. says:

    Alec, thank you for such a well-written goodbye. I really, truly believe that you should publish this diary so that others can understand the strength and love in your mom’s valiant fight with IBC. Bless you and your family.

  29. Larue Miller says:

    I am writing this with tears running down my face. I feel as if we are losing Andrea all over again, but that is our own selfish feeling. It was such a privilege to meet her, although briefly, and she made such an impact on so many people through this blog, it’s hard to let this go. I hope all is well with everyone in the family and I’m sure this was a difficult decision to come to. Everyone in this family is destined for such greatness having had Andrea in their lives that I can only pray for God’s blessings on all of you.
    I know I will think of the Collins-Smith family often and hope and pray all is well.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    Larue Miller

  30. Victoria says:

    Dearest Alec,
    God knows what has happened but I want you to know that should you ever feel inclined to travel – something that sadly, few American kids do, you are very welcome in my house and within my family (we are not weirdos -honestly!). Please feel free to contact me (please, if there are any nutters out there this invitation does not include you )- and come and stay. I would be delighted to meet you Alec and show you around Plymouth and Cornwall, it is a beautiful part of the world.
    I sincerely hope that you can all you siblings can huddle together this Christmas and keep each other close. Much love to you and and not only keep safe but keep all those things that your mother ‘minded’ about alive. That would be a wonderful legacy my darling, Victoria xxx

  31. jsmith says:

    I wish you would reconsider taking down the blog. It should remain as your Mom’s piece of the web and a permanent remembrance. Her words should and deserve to inspire new generations of readers as well as provide valuable information about IBC. I realize you probably pay for this site but it is very easy to transfer the entire thing over to a free site like Google’s blogspot. No one has to post, you can just leave it as is with your final post, except for one thing:

    I am worried by your phrase “change in family dynamics”. Please assure us this merely means Kelly is busy parenting and that the family is still strong and together.

    Finally, best wishes for the Christmas season. I know it will be difficult but a lot of people really love you and I am happy because I think you know that.


  32. Aja Beech says:


    Thank you.

  33. Alec says:

    just to let everyone know, the website will still be up. no one will be posting on it anymore. there may be updates from my siblings every once in a while if they so choose to. but officially, my mother’s story has come to a conclusion. once again, thank you all and god bless.

  34. I’m sorry to have such an inspiring group of voices be silenced on the web, but I hope that your voices will still carry on as the family we have grown to love from a distance.
    God Speed to you all.

  35. Helen says:

    You and your family are in my prayers, as is your mother. I learned a lot from reading her blog..I am a nurse, breastfeeding consultant, and a graduate student in nursing for nurse practitioner. Andrea’s story taught me a lot about IBC, about courage, about what a woman and her family goes through during such a trying time, and I think about her and her story often in dealing with my own momma’s and babies that I see in my practice and in my educational setting. Do well in school. If you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, WI…….get in touch.

  36. colleen says:

    Thank you all of Andrea’s family for sharing so much. Remember a mothers love lasts for all time;keep strong and follow your dreams ,be true to yourself! You will all still be in my prayers & thoughts. Much love to all.

  37. NYGrrrl says:

    Alec & Family –
    Thank you so much for letting us come with you all, on this journey. My mom passed away from Breast Cancer 3 years ago – YOUR mom helped me to understand things and move through things in ways I never imagined possible. Thank you, too, for leaving the blog up – your mom’s words have helped and will continue to help so many of us.
    God Bless –

  38. Julie says:

    Alex & Family, you are all in my thoughts and I wish you all well. I don’t believe this is the end of things – I fully expect to be reading about you and your siblings doing amazing things in this world.

  39. Heather says:

    Collins-Smith family,
    I do so hope that things have changed for the better, but should things have gone a little left, know that you always have the support of so many that you have and have not met.
    Andrea inspired me more than anyone I’ve actually met and unfortunately, the time I did have the chance to make it up your way, it was too late. For that, I will always be sad and feel a little regret.
    For all the inspiration that not only Andrea, but the rest of all of you have share, it has forever changed my life.
    I started a myspace dedicated to finding information and prevention and education for IBC. I have also walked in a 5K for ACS Making Strides against Breast Cancer, all due to the inspiration of your families joy and struggle and loss.
    I wish you all well in your journey and will continue to light candles for you all.
    Have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and joyous lives!
    Heather in Largo, FL

  40. Linda, Palm Harbor, FL says:

    Alex & Family,
    Andrea’s blog was an amazing insight into her life with IBC. She was an amazing woman and inspired so many of us. I will miss hearing how you all are doing. Life always has its ups and downs, but I know Andrea’s love will always carry you through and guide you to do the right thing. Thank you for letting us know you and I wish God’s blessings to you all. May peace and happiness be with you through your lifes Love to you all.

  41. wendy says:

    Thank you Alec. Our love and support is still here.

    Has anyone copied/ printed the various posts and responses? Perhaps they could be compiled into a book for each of the kids? Please let me know. If this hasn’t been done I would like to do it. I am not very crafty so it would be pretty basic but I think it would be good for Clay to have a tangible copy of his mother’s last year that he won’t have any memory of; and for all of you if you are interested. Please email me at wendy@knightskeep.com with any thoughts on the mattter.

    Love you all, Wendy

  42. spm says:


    I’m sorry that certain people have kind of failed you and your siblings, just know that I’m here for you. F*** calculus, let me know what you need and I can deliver.


  43. Toni Alperin Goldberg says:

    Hey Wendy,

    Referencing your suggestion, I think it is a great idea and you should go forward with it if you have the capability. I don’t think anyone from the family accesses this site too frequently these days but if they did, I’m sure they would want to preserve its contents.
    I printed much of it for my personal remembrance (the posts, not the responses) until May of this year……..
    Preservation is very important I would think if not only for perusal of her journey but it could become a family project down the line that would be very meaningful and (who knows) perhaps profitable for the kids.
    Good Luck

  44. Linda says:

    Thank You Alec… I know we all Love the person that you are and we will hold close in our Prayers and thoughts …

    I, for one am so very happy to know that your Father,Tony is at home and living with and caring for your siblings. Life is good!

    I pray that you all can stay close and in touch with Clay, what a precious baby boy he is, visit with him often.

    I wish you Love, Peace and Harmony,

  45. Nancy says:

    Farewell. Thank you for allowing us on your jouney(s) … Please know when you look up @ the stars, someone miles away is thinking of you.

  46. Anna says:

    Wish you all much love and peace.

  47. Sarah S. says:

    Good luck to you all! Much love!

  48. mandi says:

    thank you for sharing your family with us. you will be in my thoughts.

    As for printing out Andrea’s story, there was a site that made your blog into a book but I can’t find it at the moment. Maybe with some searching someone can track it down.

    much love ot you all, stay strong

  49. jsmith says:

    It’s http://www.youpublish.com and they will turn this blog into a beautifully bound book. You upload it right to their site and you can actually set a price and have people buy it!

  50. Julie says:

    Make sure that you save all of her blogs for posterity!

  51. Barbara Walder says:

    Merry Christmas. I miss this site.

  52. alaina says:

    I wanted to wish each of you a Blessed, Merry Christmas. I was thinking about my friends and family members who have passed on and picturing the celebration that must be taking place there. The Heavenly Choir must be amazing! I am thinking of you Andrea, I love you, alaina

  53. COLLEEN says:


  54. maire brandon says:

    To the whole Collins clan,
    I haven’t read the blog in a while… in the throws of moving, etc. Couldn’t sleep tonight and tuned in to see that you’re ending it…..sorry to see it stop, but understandable. As many have said to you and as you have said to us, “Our lives have been touched, changed and bettered, without ever even meeting”.
    I hope and pray for the best for all of you, always. Feel free to email me if any of you ever gets the bug for whatever reason! 🙂
    Much respect, admiration and love,
    maire brandon

  55. Michelle Wienke says:

    Just wanted you all to know that you are being kept in thoughts and prayers-this is such a difficult time of year for so many people-all of you especially, and I wanted you to know that you are loved and thought about by so many!

    Blessings for peace and love and joy in the new year!
    With love-

  56. All things must come to an end…some things are esier to deal with than others, as we have all found. My battle with IBC and how I feel about it were somehow easier to handle having Andrea to walk with along the way. It was so helpful to have the kids and Kelly leave posts that gave me a better understanding of how my kids and husband feel about what they are going through. I will truly miss you all. Please take care of each other and have a great life, each of you.

    Love, Sandi

  57. Barbara Walder says:

    I really miss this blog. I would love to know how everyone is doing.

  58. Grant says:

    All the best to you! Thanks for your story!

  59. Candice says:

    I just wanted to let you know how much this blog has helped me…I came across it sometime in September and I read through every entry within a few days. I lost my mom to breast cancer in December and when I’m at my lowest, or I have my little pity parties and I feel that the world just completely screwed me over, I remember Andrea and her family and what they’ve been through, and I know that everything will be ok. That I’ll always miss my mom, and I’ll always think about her, but I need to focus on the time I had with her and not the time I was robbed of. I was 26 when she passed away, and it makes me sad to think that she won’t be here on my wedding day, or when I have my first baby, but she showed the same courage and strength and faith that Andrea had and I remember that she instilled those same values in me. I’m grateful that I’ll forever have the peace of mind in knowing that my mother left knowing exactly how I felt about her and how much she meant to me, that I told her I loved her…and in a beautiful example of the circle of life, that I was able to take of her during her last few days, just as she did my first days.

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU, for letting someone like me, that you have never and will (most likely) never meet, into your lives. I hope you know what an impact your whole entire family has made on people, by reminding them that no matter how tough life is, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I had found this site before Andrea passed away, but better late than never! And know that somewhere in California, I will always carry Andrea and her family in my heart.

    “God didn’t promise life would be easy, but He did promise to be with you every step of the way.”

  60. WhyMommy says:

    Hi, kids. Just checking in to send you love, as I was thinking about your mom today. We miss her over at Mothers With Cancer, and I miss her personally. I know you do too.

    Sending you love and happiness this warm spring day.