Dozens of Cousins by Anthony Esolen

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Dozens of Cousins

Anthony Esolen on Learning from Those Who Have to Like You, Even When They Don’t

On the day he died, my father was sitting in the living room, wide-awake and able to speak, though with some strain. He knew that the liver cancer that had ravaged his system was about to complete its work; it had been a day or two since he was last able to swallow any fluid.

The family had gathered around him, and in our case that meant that a few of my cousins who lived nearby stopped to say farewell. One cousin in particular hung his arm around my father’s shoulder and talked to him about the times long ago, when he was just a kid with a live fastball and my father was the coach. He smiled and told stories, leaning over to keep the old man from having to turn his head, almost whispering into his ear.

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Anthony Esolen is the author of over thirty books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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