Cast of Characters

I read a book recently that had a Cast of Characters at the beginning of it. You know those pages in the front where they outline who you are going to meet so that when you forget the names later in the book, you can always look them up. Rather helpful if you ask me.

This got me thinking about the Cast of Characters in my own life… I was thinking about how on earth I would figure out how to write one for myself. Who do you include? Just my immediate family alone is kind of an overwhelming cast of characters- both in sheer numbers and describing the role each one plays in my story. And then if you went into extended family (gasp!), friends, extended friends, the rest of my community… What a cast it would be!  
I started one, just for fun… and quickly got stumped. It is overwhelming enough just to list family, spouses, kids and then I started on friends, which is where it got really crazy. I have so many friends, near and far. Daily contact, monthly contact, yearly contact. Just because Friend X lives out of state and we’re terribly bad at phone calls doesn’t mean she isn’t part of my life, my story. She may have played a larger role in some part of my history, but she’s certainly part of the story. I get excited for a new baby (or 5). I visit when possible. She and her family take up heart space — they are part of who I am, even from a distance.  But how on earth would you ever list and describe all of those people? And their spot in your story?  
It keeps circling around in my mind lately… and it’s kind of an interesting place to let your mind wander. And it makes me so grateful for the Cast of Characters in my story, even if it is too complicated to actually write it all up.  
What about you? What does your Cast of Characters look like?  

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