Today the man who taught me water polo in high school and how to be a good athlete passed away in his sleep. I went through the entire day without it hitting me but the feelings obviously crawled their way in. He was more than a coach. He had the utmost respect for everyone, looked for the best in everyone, and loved what he did. Few can say they love what they do and use that skill to better this world.
Grafton (I did not know until the second week of practice which was his first name, Grafton or Weiss?) managed to do what few in this world are capable of doing. That is managing a family, a love for your job, compassion for the community, being a spiritual man devoted to the teachings of his church, and capable of juggling everything with grace.
For me, Grafton’s teachings extended beyond Magnolia’s pool. He taught us about unity, working together, and standing proud no matter what obstacles stood in our way. I look back at my high school years with fondness, and I gladly give Grafton a great deal of credit.
I hope you rest in peace Grafton.
Today his family and friends laid him to rest. As usual, funerals are reminders of what is important and what is ego and materialism. The ultimate compliment is being surrounded by family, the students you coach, the students you used to coach and their kids, co-workers, neighbors, community, and family. Grafton had that, as well as alumni dating 15 years back. Below are 2 videos for you to remember Grafton (Part 1 and 2).