Love lasts forever. Love never dies. Love leaves an eternal imprint on our soul and mind. Our hearts need love, in particular, a Mother’s love. What do you do when your heart and soul are broken? How do you heal a broken heart? Can your soul ever be whole again?

I grappled with those questions each holiday, birthday, and every day after my mother, Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo, perished on American Airlines flight 11, the first hijacked plane to hit the Twin Towers on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. She was a mere two seats away from Mohamed Atta, the on-board leader of the terrorist attack. Her entire body was never found, but some remains were discovered 11 months after the disaster.

My father's tearful wish that he could once again hold the ring he had given his wife of 40 years was answered. My mother’s wedding band was recovered completely intact, still on my mother’s left hand amidst tons of rubble at the World Trade Center. It was a miracle!

We all have our "911 moments." Have you ever had a really bad day? A time when you were totally devastated, knocked to your knees, breathless, speechless, simply numb? For some, it is the heart wrenching loss of a loved one, a pet, a job, a lover, or anything that causes your heart and mind to become so overwhelmed that you are unable to cope with basic daily activities. Whether through an unexpected tragedy, the piercing pangs of divorce, or devastating financial loss, the pain and suffering hurt, and for you, it is a horrible, personal 911 moment.

For me, it is that ring—Sonia’s ring—from which this book is born, that compels me to write about love, faith, hope, and perseverance. In Sonia’s Ring: 11 Ways to Heal Your Heart, you will discover how to find comfort and peace as you navigate the challenges of your 911 moment, as well as practical suggestions that will help you move forward in your life regardless of the burdens you are carrying or the obstacles you are facing.

I will reveal what happened to me and my family and offer poignant glimpses into the pain and struggles that, although shared by the nation, were personal and private. I will discuss candidly the unconditional love I experienced growing up, while contrasting those happy times as a young girl against the haunting moments without my mother—from the first devastating day we learned she was never coming back . . . to celebrating her birthday without her, to the mix of grief and joy in finding Sonia’s ring, to finding the confidence to go on.

Within the pages of Sonia’s Ring: 11 Ways to Heal Your Heart, you will learn how to confront hatred, sorrow, doubt, selfishness, and unkindness. I’ll encourage you to live with confidence, to move past the pain and to discover that anything is possible with love, faith, hope, and perseverance. I hope to help you smile more and let your soul dance with joy.

As the story unfolds, you will realize afresh that life presents us with surprising challenges from which we can learn and grow. We must embrace the good while we overcome the bad if we want to become stronger, wiser, and more loving and understanding.
We can never have too much love! I encourage you to take positive steps now, to put words to action. Pain and suffering is part of life; we all have 911 moments. It is time for you, with a loving heart and open mind, to move beyond the pain, to allow your heart to heal, and let love live again within you.

"Sonia’s ring" is a symbol of human strength in the face of crisis, a gracious sign that love leaves an indelible imprint on the mind and soul and heart forever. Love not only survives, but helps us thrive. Within the pages of this book, I share my story, a message I am compelled to tell. Sonia’s Ring: 11 Ways to Heal Your Heart is for you, a story that will help you find the power to feel love, faith, hope, and perseverance for your own future in today’s troubled world. It will provide encouragement that no matter where you are or what crisis or tragedy you may encounter, you can find strength to live with loving kindness and the peace to heal your heart.