Our sincere gratitude from Michelle Collins and boys
It has been just over five weeks since we lost our beloved Lewis, and what a tough time it has been. My sons and I cannot thank everyone enough for their generous words and heartfelt thoughts. You all knew Lew as 'Bodie', and a great one he was. We were privileged to know the sweet, kind, loving and honorable man that others remember too. Lew battled his disease with more courage than Bodie, Gavin or Skellen could ever have had, and we were blessed to have had so much extra time, Lew outliving doctors time frames! I am so proud to have been Lew's wife and soul mate for going on 25 years and to have had the joy of our three wonderful sons, who remind me of their dad every day.
Oliver, is the artistic, creative, sensitive one - sharing a lot of his dads talents, meanwhile both Elliot and Cameron are themselves entering into the USAF (Cameron a fighter pilot and Elliot a PJ) and mirroring their father's heroism and grit in life. Both Oliver and Elliot skydive, and Cameron is the pilot in the family. All three ride motorcycles and will I know, honor their dad every day.
I know from all the lovely messages that Lew's passing was a big shock, but as a family we wanted to keep his battle private, and live as normal a life as we could. Lew fought so bravely and taught all those around him never to give up. His charm, humor, and greatness shined through every day and while he loved his job, and appreciated all his fans, I think he would say that his greatest accomplishment was his three boys. He was an amazing father and a loved husband. We miss him terribly, but clearly he has left his mark on this world and been such an influence in many peoples lives.
You are all right when you say he will never be forgotten, and while our loss is immeasurable, I know Lew would want us to live our lives to the fullest and enjoy each day for him. I am pleased to say that after many years, he did finish his autobiography days before his death, and we will stay true to our promise to him and get it published as soon as we can. Lew will live on in our hearts and memories, he will live on in his screen roles, he will live on as a dad and soul mate, but he will also live on as a great writer.
Yes, he should have been Bond and yes he was very much underrated, but these losses allowed us to be a 'real family" and live a relatively normal life here in America and for that we are grateful... You all had him in the 70's and 80's and we had him the rest of the time! At Lew's recent service in our hometown village, in a eulogy by my father he said that true greatness is what you leave behind, and that you should always leave this world better than when you found it. I feel Lewis accomplished this and all of your kind words prove just that. Lewis left his mark and was a role model to many.
Thank you all so much for your love and support of Lewis. I feel sure he is smiling up there at the thought of getting the best press in his life, but also for all the continued love and support of his devoted fans. You are all right.... He will never be forgotten.
Michelle, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron