Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem

Six years home

Six years ago, today.

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures. (another thing that changed so much in these years since I left LA.)

No pics. But it happened.

With two babies and a pair of high heels, I turned around one last time and whispered “goodbye,” to that house on Tilden Avenue: That house where I planted purple roses and rosemary out front with my mom, where I had my first kiss on the cool floor by my bed, where I studied for the SATs and filled out college applications, where I held my mom for the last time in the bed where she once nursed me, where I brought both my children home from the hospital, where my mother-in-law taught me how to make brisket, where we lit shabbat candles week after week after week, where my father and the father of my children would come home after bringing it on the Mar Vista court for Sierra Nevadas, where we stood now, us four, leaving.
Six years ago.

“It’s just for a year,” I told myself as we walked down the driveway, flanked by friends and family, the sky October blue.

Six years later:

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures (if this were now, believe you me, there would have been a truly #epic group selfie)

It happened:

We had a limo waiting. You read that right. A limo. Not just a limo — a stretch limo. Because if I was going to take a leap of faith and leave LA and move to Israel, it would be in a stretch limo, because LA and because of course.

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures (although what was there to photograph? A two year old on her 12th rerun of Princess and the Frog and a baby who was oh so charming so long as you keep on keeping on … bouncing him across world?)

It happened.

And actually, the guy in charge of our papers DID take pictures – a deer-in-headlights fiasco of a photo where the 14 hour plane ride is stamped on my face forever and ever, a reminder that uprooting isn’t easy.
And to prove that point, one year later, from a cold, dark space, I wrote “One year gone.” And wow, how much has changed since then, since missing home, since crying every night, since riding around in circles, since stumbling through the hours, since, well, since everything…

Six years later, tucked away on my couch surrounded by old maps of the Old City and paintings of places within those ancient walls, red geraniums and lavender blooming outside the window and a cat curled up on my lap, I write now: Six years home.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.