Alisa Childress is a writer of creative nonfiction, fiction, and personal essay. Her essays have appeared in various online publications, including Potato Soup Journal, Open Door Magazine, and Mother Egg Review; as well as ADULT CHILDREN: Being One, Having One & What Goes In-Between A Wising Up Anthology (available on Amazon). Look for her brand new short thriller, set to appear in Marathonarium Anthology in July 2023.
Pleading for Answers
Recounts my mother's assessment for Alzheimer's Dementia
from ADULT CHILDREN: Being One, Having One & What Goes In-Between A Wising Up Anthology
She is beyond the point of being able to tell me what she likes about these floors. Whether it is the brown color, the fake streak of marble, or the shininess that makes it difficult to notice the color or see the fake marble streak. I assume that it is the shininess and say that I imagine that someone just recently polished them. I mention the doors, which are primarily tempered glass set into a distressed wooden frame. I like the doors. I hope this will take the conversation away from the floor as I do not think I can bear to hear about them again.
I take out my phone and show her pictures of the family. “Who is that?” I am showing her my son’s senior picture.
Full essay is available for purchase (in anthology) at http://universaltable.org/libraryanthologiesaf/adultchildren.html.
The Bigger Life
Examines generational anxiety and panic attacks, by looking at my own panic attacks, my father's addiction and my son's suicide attempt.
From Open Door Magazine Issue 21: July 2022 Mental Health
But today, I only make it a few steps into his territory when his barks begin to resonate in my head. They are bouncing around in my brain. Reverberating and growing louder and louder. They start to drown out the heavy mid-day traffic just a few feet away on Oak Street. I no longer notice horns honking, engines revving. I do not hear the chatterof the people around me as they walk by. Or the mechanical sound of the city bus on the corner as it stops to drop off some and pick up others.
Full essay can be viewed online at Open Door Magazine; July 2022 Issue; Pages 131-139
The Soundtrack of a Life
Tells about the last birthday present I gave my dad and our shared love for music.
First published in Potato Soup Journal: An Online Literary Journal; May 2021
I began to carefully sketch his present. Whenever I worked on a painting or drawing, he was the first person I would show. I was always very excited to text him pictures of whatever project I was working on and get his advice. But since the was a present for him, I texted pictures of it to an artist friend who is a string musician and asked for her feedback.
Of course, I did not select a guitar simply because it was easy. He is not just a visual artist, but also a talented musician. He began playing the guitar when I was a toddler. When I was three years old, he would sit with me on the sofa. He would play and I would sing. We would not sing things such as You are My Sunshine or Itsy Bitsy Spider. Instead, he taught me folk and country.
Full essay can be read online at Potato Soup Journal.
A Letter to My Mother
An open letter to my mother of several years ago regarding my mother now, and how she has been impacted by Alzheimers
Published in Mother Egg Review June 4, 2023 Folio
I lie to you just to get you into the car, something you could always see through when I was a child. I tell you that I have to go to the doctor and that I need you to help me. You will still do anything for me, just as I will always do for my son. I wonder how he will handle it when, like you, I am a shadow of my former self.
My first published fiction piece. A psychological family thriller featuring a grandmother who is reconnected with her grandson after the death of her estranged daughter.
I answer my door at 7 p.m. to a weary woman and a small blond boy, clutching a stuffed tiger. The tiger seems to be held together by a few threads and a prayer. So does he.
“This must be my little Jimmy.”
“Yes, ma’am. I’m Heather. We’ve been in the car for several hours and I have a long way back. Mind if I use your restroom?”
“Sure. It’s just down the hall,” I tell her.
Then I speak to the nervous child, “Hi, Jimmy. I’m your grandma.”
I can’t believe I have this chance. When my baby girl left home at seventeen, I knew I’d never see her again but I didn’t expect to be sent a picture of her body for confirmation.
Full story is available for purchase (in anthology) at this list of sites
About Alisa Childress
Alisa's educational background includes both a Masters of Science in clinical psychology and a Masters of Arts in Teaching, which she now applies in her work as a case manager for individuals with developmental disabilities. She is a new empty nester who lives in Louisville, KY with her husband and animal menageie. When not writing, she enjoys a wide and ever growing variety of hobbies, both nerdy and artistic.
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