The main theme of For One More Day is forgiveness, of others and of one's self. The main character, Chick Benetto, is so tormented by guilt and self-loathing at the beginning of the story that he tries to end his life. From the time he was a child his loyalties have been divided between his absent father and the mother who has been a constant in his life, and the choices he has made have left him essentially hating himself. Through the unexplainable experience of spending just one more day with his dead mother, Chick learns to forgive, and is able to find reconciliation and make restitution during the years he has left.
A second central theme in the book is the love of a mother for her children. It is only after her death that Chick truly understands and appreciates the hardships his mother endured, and the strength and courage she showed time after time as she struggled to take care of her children's needs and to protect them from the harsh realities of life.
The most difficult hardships that Chick has to endure in his lifetime stem from the behavior of his father and his father's demands for the loyalty of his son. In choosing his father, Chick must deny his mother, and he finds himself lying to her and treating her with disrespect time and time again. Chick's father's dream for him is to be a successful major league baseball player, and when things do not work out this way, Chick must deal not only with his own disappointment but also with his father's pressure to continue in the quest, even though Chick knows it is not to be.
Chick's reslting frustrations and self-hatred manifest themselves in adulthood in erratic behavior fueled by alcoholism. Chick's instability eventually causes his marriage to break up and leads to his daughter being ashamed of him and not wanting him around, even at her own wedding. Chick's ill-advised responses to the challenges in his life create a self-perpetuating cycle of rejection of and by the ones he loves most.
Who are the characters?