"Family is not something. Family is everything" was a saying Latter-day Saint Major Brent Taylor often told Afghan pilot Major Abdul Rahman Rahmani. A saying Rahmani says changed his life.
Taylor, 39, was a husband, a father to seven children, and a mayor. He was killed in an insider attack on November 3 in Kabul where he was working to train Afghan forces. Among the many influenced by Taylor, Rahman Rahmani reached out to Taylor's wife, Jennie, to share how her husband changed his life.
"Your husband taught me to love my wife Hamida as an equal and treat my children as treasured gifts, to be a better father, to be a better [husband], and to be a better man," Rahman Rahmani wrote in a letter he tweeted to Jennie.
Dear Mrs. Taylor,
Maj Taylor was my friend. I wrote this letter for his family.
I hope this little contribution eases your pain.
Note: this letter was sent to his physical add by one my American mentors. I tried to email too but I failed to find her email. pic.twitter.com/28nH7o4W6D— Abdul Rahman Rahmani (@rahmanrahmanee) November 5, 2018
Before he meant Taylor, Rahman Rahmani thought women and men shouldn't be treated equally and some in his country considered family property, but Rahman Rahmani told KSL Newsradio of an experience he had with Brent Taylor that changed that.
Rahman Rahmani had just hung up a phone after yelling at his children on the other end when Taylor approached him.
"He [Brent Taylor] said, ‘You don’t shout at your children. They have the right to say things, and you don’t have the right to shout at them.’ He said, ‘The value of democracy, the value of freedom will be given to our children, to our families and to our women, as well.’ And he changed my life. I had that discussion with him for like two hours,” Rahman Rahmani told KSL Newsradio Monday.
Though Rahman Rahmani had only known Taylor for a short while, he shared that these experiences had drawn him closer to the Latter-day Saint and father of seven.
"Jennie, please pass my words onto your seven children, whom I consider as brothers and sisters to my own five children, Taha, Taiba, Tawab, Aqsa, and Wahab," Rahman Rahmani wrote. "Tell them that their father was a loving, caring, and compassionate man whose life was not just meaningful, it was inspirational. I gained a great deal of knowledge from him and I am a better person for having met him. . . . I am writing this letter to you about a man whom I considered a close friend, and whom I dearly loved. A leader; one who was the first to volunteer for any tough assignment. Never stop telling them what a great man their father was, he was a true patriot. He died on our soil but he died for the success of freedom and democracy for both countries."
Lead image from North Ogden City Facebook page