Last time I was there, there were presents.
There were re-runs of the films that have proven most popular over the years on the telly, and the annual attendance at Mass, and a dinner that I could barely eat.
It was Christmas, and I can see now that it was miserable.
At the time, I prevailed, and continued to play the light-hearted act I put on for the family for every visit, because it's easy to fool even those who know you longest when you have enough practice.
Tomorrow, I will travel home for the first time since my transplant. I'm wary to leave Dublin, where there are hospitals that can respond to my needs, but to see my little nieces again will probably prompt happy tears, because those kids have my heart.
They won't understand the transformation internally since they saw me last, but maybe even they will perceive the change.
I am sure I smile more these days.
And I am told I look younger, which could be the steroids, or it could be that worry and weary are no longer creasing my brow.
The car will stay here. I have the freedom now to take the train again, because there is no machine to transport. No boxes of dialysis fluid to break my heart and hands, lugging them from my top-floor apartment down to the back seat, cursing them silently - and sometimes not so silently.
More often than not, I was left in bad form for the cross-country trek before even putting the key in the ignition.
My luggage this weekend will be identical to every other girl rushing to board at Heuston Station.
Clothes. Cosmetics. Carefree thoughts.
Yes, the load is certainly lighter.