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A Personal Account of a Day with Peg Hansen

By Betty Kelly
Oct/Nov 1999 ATHA Newsletter

Although I did attend that April ’79 organizational meeting, the day I spent with Peg in late August of that year is the one that stays in my mind.
By then she was in a hospital bed in her living room, very ill, but absolutely consumed with desire to do all she could to see that ATHA would flourish. I went to spend the day with her to do what I could to help and she really made me work! I was on the phone asking for volunteers, collecting names of people who might want to join; making lists of things to do short and long term; and in between she talked about what she hoped for—“a vibrant group of people doing what they love and sharing it.” I remember being very impressed with how organized she was. George, her husband, was writing for her then, and she went right down her list. Not a moment wasted. George made me a pot roast sandwich for lunch, but Peg didn’t or couldn’t eat. I just remember the fire in her heart. She knew her time was running out, and she seemed possessed to make sure I had everything written down that she could foresee as necessary to make sure all systems were go.

On the surface, it may seem a little depressing to tell you that she had her funeral planned to the last detail, even to the ham in the freezer and her friends to serve it, but it really was only thoughtful. She was a nurse and to her, I’m sure, death, even her own, was just part of a natural sequence. I often think back to that day to how imaginative she was to envision what we have today, and at the same time, practical with plans on exactly how to achieve it. I know she would be thrilled to see that ATHA is strong and still growing.

Peg died just two days prior to the actual date of election of its officers. Peg Hansen would be delighted today. Her hard work and dedication paid off, and I can only hope she’s hooking up in heaven!