I find myself questioning how much of "Not By Mechanical Aid" was me coming to terms with Dad; his personality change and his will to survive. Putting the scenario onto Sam - onto a fictional character I love instead of a real person - it gave me the distancing mechanism I needed by which to explore those issues. I hadn't let myself accept that before.
I think that's why I find myself rereading it so often. I would tell myself it was to see Sam as I really saw him, the essence of the character. But it's not that at all. It's because it is so deeply personal. A reflection and a recount I couldn't bring myself to write biographically. The thoughts I don't generally let myself have because it's much easier to act like nothing ever happened.