Memories of Mike Feilding
As told by Charles Feilding
Happened around: 2008-11-16
The great Yogi Berra once said "You gotta go to people's funerals or they will never go to yours".
Sorry Mike I guess I blew it - but you know why I cannot be there and I know you have already forgiven me.

As you all know we are a family of three brothers - following the public school naming tradition William being the eldest was Broma, Mike was Bromi while I earned the name Bromo. Mike was, and is, my brother and and my best friend and I will always love him as both a brother and a best friend.

We were close in age though radically different in temperament . I am sure I was as pestilential a younger brother as pestilential younger brothers can get. I have clear memories of laying Mike out with the butt of my plastic "Kit Carson" rifle having lain in wait behind the schoolroom door for most of the morning.
And while Nanny bandaged the wound I was (so I am told) heard to yell up the stairs "I can hear you crying from here".

In spite of this (and so much more) Mike always did his duty as a brother. At Downside his room was always open when I needed refuge and his philosophies were always simple and comforting. When I was confused about life Mike taught me that if you are floating down a river and you want to know how you are doing - don't look at the water - look at the banks. His wisdom remains with me every day - he showed me the importance of knowing where you came from and where you are going.

Mike grew up in a body that challenged him every waking hour - asthma dogged him day and night and more recently we learned that an enlarged heart had sapped his energy throughout his life. And yet none of this was able to quell his playful sense of humor, his deep understanding of the importance of laughter and silliness and most of all, his powerful sense of duty and family. When our father was ailing it was Mike that Mother leaned on for support and he was there when she needed him. When Mother was ailing and William and I were away in foreign lands it was Mike who shouldered the burden and looked after Mum. He never complained about this to us because that was not his way. He shouldered the burdens and carried on.

Although in many ways a staunch traditionalist Mike was among the first of our generation to embrace the new technology of computers and it was this love of technology that brought him and I closer in the last ten years than we had ever been before. Several years ago on a whim I sent him a webcam and to my delight he embraced the idea enthusiastically. Between us we puzzled out the emerging technology of Internet video conferencing. At times we would chat three or four times a week and he was unfailingly comforting when I was in trouble, amusing when I was sad and always willing to talk through problems we shared, we chatted about everything and nothing. I doubt I would have seen more of him if I had lived down the street. His calls meant the world to me. When I became physically disabled it was his encouragement that saw me through the pain, his constant reminders of my duty to the ones I love that prevented me from ending my own life prematurely. I owe him more than I can say.

105 Hartfield Road became the one house April and I HAD to visit in England - or perhaps it is more fair to say it was the one house in England that when we went there, they always let us in. We were always assured a warm welcome, a thorough tour of the relatives and a wonderful time. We visited many times over the years and April and I eagerly looked forward to staying in Wimbledon .

When Mike and Linnet visited us in Santa Fe in 2004 it was one of the proudest moments of my life. We had both had difficulty in reaching the Grand Canyon in the past (more long stories) but by renting a Lincoln Navigator we finally made it. The look on his face when we reached the South Rim is something I will treasure forever. It was fulfilling a promise made so long ago.

But if you want to understand the real person that Mike was look no further than the wonderful children that he and Linnet have brought into the world and raised. I see many of the finest qualities of his and Linnet's spirits so clearly in Emily and Melissa - the daunting wit, the natural inquisitive intelligence, the stubborness and grace that make each of them a delight to be with.

Although it is very easy to be deeply saddened my the loss of my brother I am going to make it my goal to celebrate instead the joyous friendship he brought to my life and many others. He loved fully and was fully loved by everyone who knew him. I am happy that he is free from the confines of this physical world and look forward to seeing him again in the next.

Good by bro - for now.