Relentlessly Resilient: Brent and Jennie Taylor’s story of faithful resilience
Jun 29, 2021, 3:13 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
OGDEN, Utah — It has been nearly three years since former North Ogden Mayor Major Brent Taylor was killed in Afghanistan amid his fourth deployment in the National Guard. Since then, to understand what kind of man he was, his wife Jennie Taylor has taken up his mantle of service while at the same time raising their seven children.
While many know Jennie as a Gold Star widow, in this week’s episode of the Relentlessly Resilient podcast she and her cohost Michelle Scharf have a candid conversation about the story and lessons of Brent and Jennie’s relationship.
The conversation ranges from the foundation of their marriage built on faith and mutual respect to striving to serve God, family, and country in all they do. Jennie gives listeners a look inside their home life before Major Brent Taylor made national headlines as the first sitting U.S. politician to be killed in action since the Civil War.
- Jennie and Brent’s meeting and similarities as a match showcased how powerful similar drives can be in the influence on others.
- “I’m so grateful you’re giving me this chance. Because I think sometimes even I forget what regular life was like… I think it’s important that we reconnect to what people are really like. What things are like maybe when it’s quieter and off of the stage or off of the television camera” – Jennie Taylor.
- Their decision to dedicate their lives to God, family, and country through growing their family, military and political service, and practicing their faith.
- Jennie gives listeners a look into the more mundane side of Brent’s life, including his simple meal choices.
- She expands on why she thinks Brent’s story resonates with and inspires so many people around the world.
- “If you were to ask me some thoughts on why I think this story has been told a lot of times… I think part of it is because of that little bit unique niche of who Brent was as a soldier. Again, not any more awesome than any other soldier, not any more dedicated than any other soldier, but the fact that he was in politics, and serving as a soldier, and that he did die in combat, while on a leave of absence from that political duty… Part of the reason Brent story’s been told a lot of times is because we as a family have been willing to tell it… I feel like I opened my soul to America about what I thought Brent would want me to say, since he’s not here to say it anymore.” – Jennie Taylor.
- Jennie speaks about the humbling love and support she has felt amid the loss experienced by herself and her family, and how she tries to apply the same love, support and sympathy to all those she meets.
- “If we scraped away the details, your story, my story, and everybody else on this human existence story goes like this; Once upon a time, I had a whole bunch of hopes and dreams. And some of them went right. And some of them went painfully wrong. And I’m still trying every day to live happily ever after.” – Jennie Taylor.
- Both Jennie and Michelle speak about how they both met as recent widows, because of an act of compassion that Brent gave Michelle months before his death. Knowing of Michelle’s recent loss of her husband John because of a Facebook group they were both in, Brent flew a flag in John’s honor and from across the world showed his concern the day before John’s life celebration.
- “And I felt like [Brent] heard my message that I wanted people to know about my husband [John]. And that acknowledgment was so profound to me on that day when I really didn’t want to get out of bed…. And so that moment, I felt like it was all going to be okay. And I was able to get through that next day. And Brent Taylor did that. And that is the man that Brent Taylor was, that’s who he is.” – Michelle Scharf.
- Jennie and Michelle discuss resilience as the importance of moving onward with the next chapters of their lives, without forgetting what was written before.
Listen to the full Relentlessly Resilient Episode
Even though we live in challenging times we can become Relentlessly Resilient as we lean on and learn from one another’s experiences.
In the Relentlessly Resilient Podcast, hosts Jennie Taylor and Michelle Scharf are no strangers to overcoming adversity; Michelle lost her husband to cancer, while Jennie’s husband Major Brent Taylor was killed in the service of our country. Their stories bond them together and now listeners can join them weekly as they visit with others enduring challenges and who teach us how they are exercising resiliency, finding value in their grief, and purpose in moving forward.
Listen to the Relentlessly Resilient Podcast regularly on your favorite platform, at kslpodcasts.com, kslnewsradio.com, or on the KSL App. Join the Resiliences conversation on Facebook at @RelentlesslyResilient and Instagram @RelentlesslyResilientPodcast. Produced by KellieAnn Halvorsen.