What inspired you to write your memoir?
I was on the Baltimore water taxi when it overturned in the Inner Harbor in March 2004. I lost my wife and daughter that day. To survive this loss I found myself telling people about all the strange yet wonderful things that were happening in my life. I expected that they would want to put me in a straight jacket. Instead they all told me to write them down so I would not forget them. I wrote them so I could share them with my granddaughters when they are older. I was not trying to write a book but I allowed it to become a book when I realized it was helping others. Most people refer to my book as being about the Power of Love. It received the Next Generation Indie Book Award for the Best Inspirational book.
The book is my attempt to stress the following points to help others who have experienced a tragedy.
a. Positive thoughts are the most powerful force we posses.
b. With love all things are possible.
c. Love never Dies. Our loved ones that have passed remain close to us forever.
d. Opening yourself up to signs from lost loved ones will provide you with ways to go on with a happy and successful life.
e. Tears are just our bodies way to allow us to cope with things that would otherwise be beyond our comprehension. We just have to let them be tears of joy, not sorrow; tears of laughter, not pain; tears of love, not grief.
f. All the kindness a person puts out into the world works on the hearts and thoughts of mankind.
My Mission is to help others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. When I open my email I never know if I am going to end up sharing some tears with someone I have never met. The last page of my book contains my email address and many people who have read my book after a tragic or sudden loss have written me to tell me how much my book helped them. These emails made the book the most rewarding accomplishment of my entire life. They are my inspiration to get the book into the hands of others that it will help.
About your Book:
My book, The Last Rose: A True Celebration of Eternal Life, is about the first year of my life after the accident. Immediately after the five minute storm that cause the accident a beautiful double rainbow appeared over the rescue boats. It was the first of five rainbows I talk about in the book that all appeared on very significant occasions. Another chapter talks about the many times that the number 13 appeared to me that first year. It has been six years since the accident and the number 13 continues to appear to me all the time. I have been a computer programmer and consultant all my life, and logic has always played a big part in the way that I think. I believe that these events and others I outlined in the book truly defy logic. At least logic as we observe it on our human plane. The only logical explanation for all of these things is that there really is a spiritual plane of existence that is totally outside our realm of comprehension. Chapter 10 talks about my first session with a Medium. I was not convinced that Mediums had a real gift, but two hours with this man were totally life changing.
My book is not about the accident. It is about the power of love. Once you read my version of that day in chapter two, and the letter written the day after the accident by one of the reservists that rescued my daughter Lisa, you will feel like you were right there with us.
Thomas E. Pierce married the love of his life, Jo Ann, on August 13th 1966. The two enjoyed a happy marriage for more than 37 years and raised two beautiful daughters, Lisa and Kathy. Even after their daughter’s left their home in Vineland, NJ to start their own careers, Thomas and Jo Ann seized every opportunity to spend time with the girls. It was during on of these visits in March of 2004, that the Pierce family was changed forever.
On March 5, 2004, Thomas and Jo Ann drove to Baltimore, MD for a weekend gateway with their oldest daughter, Lisa. The next morning, the family decided to take a boat tour of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and boarded the water taxi, Lady D to take in the sights. In what would become one of the worst accidents in Baltimore’s history, the water taxi capsized, throwing all 25 passengers into the frigid water.
Thomas Pierce was left clinging to the overturned boat awaiting rescue, but tragically, Jo Ann and Lisa were among the five lives claimed that day.
In the many months that followed, Thomas struggled to piece together his fife without Jo Ann and Lisa. He began writing stories and giving speeches about them, and slowly, Thomas began to heal. With the encouragement of friends and family, he wrote a book, The Last Rose: A True Celebration of Eternal Life, in which he discusses the accident, the aftermath and the loving legacies of his wife and daughter.
Thomas E. Pierce was born in Philadelphia, PA where he lived until he graduated from LaSalle College in 1966 with a degree in accounting. A computer programmer and consultant for most of his life, Thomas has become a professional speaker and writer since the accident. He has shared his compelling story to numerous audiences, including a fundraiser for the Red Cross, memorial services for the accident victims, a dedication ceremony at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and at the Day of Remembrance at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
Pierce currently resides in Vineland, NJ, near his surviving daughter and his two granddaughters.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I originally had 500 copies printed at a local printing company. I had to do that three times to keep up with the local demand for the book.
Then I sell published the hardcover book through BookPros of Austin, Texas. They have since declared bankruptcy but the book is still available on Amazon. It is also available as a Kindle and a Nook book.