I am Karen Strait writing about my son, Mathias, who was killed in an automobile accident on March 21, 1993, at the age of 17. Mathias Lawrence Strait was a gift from God on August 25, 1975. His name was a God-given name for as I searched through books on names, MATHIAS, stood out in big, bold letters. I knew God had a special mission for him. He made our family complete as we had a son, Ricky, who was 23 months older.
Mathias had many rough years ahead with medical problems. There were many times I feared him losing his life due to his asthma. An attack often led to bronchial pneumonia, which often ended with a hospital stay. He also had seizures, but despite the problems, Mathias continued to grow.
Mathias had a true heart of gold. He would give the shirt off of his back to someone in need. When he started working at a grocery store at the age of 16, he never failed to buy something for either his daddy or me. Sometimes he bought things for his Marine brother and his wife and infant. His last major gift to us was a coffee table. I told him he didn't need to spend his money on us, but he said that with all we did for him, this was a drop in a bucket.
There were times when someone needed lunch money. He would give that kid lunch money and go without He never complained about it. There was this middle age lady going back to college. Mathias was not fond of her for various reasons, but when it came time for her to start college, he bought her notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, etc. He never ceased to amaze me with his goodness.
His favorite things were tinkering with cars. He was a great auto mechanic and his other favorite was the computer. In fact, shortly before he died, he took a computer apart and put it back together.
Two weeks prior to his death, he told me he didn't want to be connected to life support machines. A week before his death he asked me to make his favorite foods: beef roast, pickled eggs, and pretzel. That whole week I had this strong fear that something was going to happen to him. Everytime he asked me to go somewhere, I would tell him no. He did go on March 21, 1993, to have his senior pictures taken.
On Sunday, he told me he needed to go somewhere. When I asked him where, he said he didn't know; he just knew he had to go somewhere. He asked if he could at least take his friend home. I finally relented, and told him to come right back as the roast would be ready. He gave me a puzzled look responding that he would be back. He walked out that door to never return again. One half hour later, God called him home. Four hours and ten minutes later, a highway patrolman pulled in front of our apartment. He was gone. Gone instantly. It felt like a part of us died as did his dream of leaving that July 4th for the Marine Corps.
I went through the stages of grief. but I decided that if I didn't do something positive with his death, I, too, would die. As I prayed, God brought a ministry to my mind. It would be contacting other families that lost a child. Thus, ANGELIC RAINBOW MINISTREE was designed. When I know of a child dying, I send a packet of poems, helpful steps, and just plain encouragement to that family.
I am also in the process of writing a book entitled, GOD CRIED. In it, I want to include stories of other families that faced a child's death and how they coped with all that took place. If any of you would like to share your story in my book, I would be more than glad to include it. My request is that no foul language be put in. My goal is to help other families be able to cope better and that our children will have made a difference in somebody's life. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.
I have probably said too much, but I truly loved my son.
You can send email to Karen at: [email protected]
anniversary date 03-21-93
date of post 07-24-97