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It’s not that I wasn’t loved. I simply lacked proof. Being born was easy. Staying alive was the chore. Learning to inhale life without hyperventilating has been an ongoing labor.

My childhood is a blur of anger. Mostly because my parents tried to nurture nastiness in me. Fortunately, they were grossly incompetent in that respect. Instead, they unwittingly implanted a hopeful heart into my barrel chest. Thanks, mom and dad.

Until now, my clumsy uphill climb has been a ceaseless search for unrequited love. Not physical affection. That’s lazy man’s love. I seek love as a philosophical force of nature. Hatred is the godchild of evil. Love is inborn energy defining us as supreme creatures of the planet. Coexisting siblings.

Making sense of something inexplicably cruel is a daunting endeavor. In my quest for acquittal from life’s sentence, I was pardoned by a four-year-old child. Fittingly, my nephew, Jesse James, freed me from jail.

His genetic predisposition to adore me is humbling. His sincere soul-to-soul gaze makes me self-conscious. He sees something inside me worth admiring. I trust his unprejudiced opinion implicitly. His playground is a precious place where everything is possible. His faith reassures me greatly.

I see glimpses of myself unsullied by cynicism in Jesse. He has my eyes, not blurred by hurt. His identical dimples effortlessly elicit mine. His hopes are my prayers. His dreams are now mine. Of all my titles, Uncle Jim is most prestigious. It’s awe inspiring to me that someone so exceptional thinks I am something special.

I aspire to be the person he honestly thinks I am. Jesse is indisputable proof that I am loved!

– Jim Shock, LBSPY #45 (Nov 4-18th-2013).


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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.