“The Privilege Of Knowing The Prisoner’s Wife”

One Through Twenty: Tony’s Take

by Tony Casson

“Raw” is the title of Eddie Murphy’s 1987 stand-up act. It was very aptly named.

But ‘raw’ is also how I would describe what we have all been privileged to read from the moment Diane Shellhart began taking us along on her journey starting on May 11 here in these “Chronicles”. What we have all witnessed has been very raw: raw emotion; raw feelings; raw pain; raw honesty; raw doubts; raw truth.

The difficulties of the individual trials we each face are an inescapable truth; an integral component of our lives here on earth. But to share the impact of those trials and reveal our fears, our weaknesses, our shame, our pain, and our faith in a public forum such as this is admirable, and we should all be grateful to Diane and humbled by her words. We should be thankful and encouraged. We should hold her up to others as an example of what we can endure when we look to God for our strength, our comfort, and our answers.

All it took for Eddie Murphy to be ‘raw’ was a filthy mouth and a desire to shock his audience. For Diane, it takes a strength she often indicates she doesn’t think she has. That strength is always there, though, and she always credits God with giving it to her. Eddie Murphy has no idea what ‘raw’ means, but Diane does.

For my part, I am honored she allows me to try to help her share her incredible story. She could have chosen to start her own blog, or to just remain silent completely and suffer in her silence. I pray God gives her the understanding that her words help others. Maybe not a significant portion of the population, but her words do help people.

They help me.

They help reinforce my resolve to do something to change “America’s Culture Of Incarceration”. Her words provide me with reasons to praise God, and opportunities to pray for others. The words she writes with an honesty that often brings tears to my eyes help me to think less of myself and more about other people.

Do they help you, too?

If they do, please let her know. Comment here. Encourage her. Email her directly at d.shellhart@yahoo.com.

My take on the first 20 of Diane’s posts is that it is a privilege to know her, even if it is only through her powerfully written words.

What’s yours?

4 thoughts on ““The Privilege Of Knowing The Prisoner’s Wife”

  1. Diane S.

    Thank you. Thank you for this post. Thank you for allowing to take up space on your corner of the internet. Thank you sharing your story. Just thank you. 🙂


  2. Krystle T.

    Tony I want to thank you personally for coming into Diane’s life when you did. In a time when she needed answers and so desperately had no idea where to find them. In the short time that Diane has known you, you have offered her a peace of mind, a comfort in the unknown and more strength than she knows that she embodies! Diane and I have been friends for 18 years and I love her like a sister and it is a PRIVILEGE for me to have her in my life and to read her words. Sometimes this blog puts me in perspective and makes me think more. But often times it makes me grateful to be able to have her in my life. And extremely grateful that she met you when she was so lost in a sea of anger, pain, confusion and suffering of all that was happening, beginning to happen and going to continue to happen. I hope that in time that her continued time to share where she is at with all things that Diane will learn she is stronger than anyone could possibly know. But, most of all I want Diane to believe it! Thank you tony for offering her something no one else has been able to! Sincerely her best friend


    1. I have done very little, but I thank you. We sang the old hymn, “What A Friend I have In Jesus” in my church on Sunday. What a friend Diane has in Jesus, indeed! But, oh, what a friend she has in YOU as well! God bless you.


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