How Life Can Change in an Instant

How Life Can Change in an Instant

Stan Chesley Home Invasion

I am feeling very lucky today. I got to spend the day with my dad and make him scrambled eggs for breakfast. I got to kiss his sweet droopy face.

But in an instant this could have been a very different story with a very a very different ending.

Many of you know me, or have seen it on the news, my father and his wife were terrorized in their home by three masked men shoving guns in their faces—screaming and demanding money, watches and jewelry. They barged into their bedroom at 10:40 pm and forced them around the house—stealing whatever they could.

It was an hour after my dad, Stan Chesley, and his wife, Federal Judge Susan Dlott had come home from an evening out. Thank God they were able to escape, but not before my dad was thrown down stairs and injured. (Federal Judge Susan Dlott made chilling 911 call after 3 gunmen attacked her, husband Stan Chesley)

Technically it’s called a home invasion. In reality, it’s everyone’s worst nightmare.

I think we all want to be brave—but to actually be brave in the moment of sheer terror? That is an entirely different bravery. With guns pointed at their faces they managed to lead the attackers to the garage with the plan to escape…a plan that might have saved their lives. It seems my dad isn’t the only one who likes cars. So do masked men with guns…seems as though they got distracted with a red sports car. In an instant and with tremendous courage my step-mother ran to the woods—my father hurting from the fall couldn’t run as far. He waited in the woods sitting in the mud…terrorized…terrified of what can happen in an instant.

But there are a few things I know for sure: My dad, no matter that he is almost 80 years old, is one tough smart guy. He and his wife knew they had to get near a door—an escape plan. Too many police TV shows will show you that. Think calmly and think of a way out.

He loves life—he loves his family—his wife—his grandchildren—his children—his haircut on Saturday. My dad loves everything about living. This was not going to be his ending.

He likes to win. No masked gunmen were going to win this one…and they certainly were not going to walk away. (All three gunmen were arrested and being held on $2 million plus bond).

He works best in crisis. Countless friends, including me, know who to call in a crisis. Calm and clear headed, he is the quickest thinker I know.

With more gratitude than I can express my father and Susan have written a miraculous ending.

I hope we all remember to know what “stuff’ matters most this holiday. I hope we all remember to give an extra thank you for the gifts we never expect. I hope we all remember what Maya Angelou once wrote. “No matter your relationship with your parent— you will miss them when they’re gone.”

Thank you dad and Susan for being here— Brave…Strong…Safe. Thank you to my friends for all the well wishes and worry. It is true…“Anything can change an instant.”


Unapologetically You Post-50. Reinvention, Lifestyle, Relationships.

  • Sylvia
    Posted at 07:46h, 10 December Reply

    Oh my gosh, how frightening! Glad they are safe. Good wishes to you and the family.

    • Lauren
      Posted at 23:54h, 13 December Reply

      Thank you – everyone is doing ok –just been a nightmare of a week and it is hard to recover from anything at 80 years old– never mind being so violated. tHanks for your kind thoughts– happy holiday..

  • Dan craig
    Posted at 20:42h, 10 December Reply

    As a 20 year police officer no one knows better how fast life can change. A police officer unfortunately has a front row seat to life’s tragedies. Never take tomorrow for granted, always be at peace with others so you never have regrets if you don’t have that next day.

  • Lauren
    Posted at 23:56h, 13 December Reply

    Amen– and thank you. Indeed life is very precious and sadly it takes those critical moments for us to sometimes appreciate the fragility of it all. Thank you for your warm thoughts and good wishes,
    Have a wonderful holiday– there is always so much to be grateful for…

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