A number of years ago, my husband surprised me on my 40th birthday with a gathering of unlikelies, held at our favorite, family-owned, Italian restaurant in the heart of Appalachia. It didn’t occur to me then that the friends he had invited were unlikelies; for me, they were people I had known most of my life: family, close friends, and new friends. But by the end of the evening, one comment seemed to carry the weight of the time we all spent together, celebrating. The words were spoken by my older sister who, generally, was not one to delve beneath the surface of any topic, thinking it best to keep conversation light. “As I looked around the room,” she began, “I suddenly realized how the gathering represented so many different people from so many different walks of life. And I wondered how we all fit so well together.” These words brought a moment of astonishment and deep gratitude.