'It's Got To Be A Miracle': Widower Finds Dollar Bill Signed By His Wife Years After Losing It

| by Jonathan Constante

A Connecticut man says he witnessed a miracle after he was reunited with a dollar bill his late wife signed five years ago while she was battling cancer.

It’s been 50 years since Peter Bilello tied the knot with his late wife, Grace.

"My mother, she knew this girl," Bilello, 86, told ABC News today. "And my mother says, 'Why don't you get married.' ... She don't know me, I don't know her."

Just 40 days later, Peter and Grace wed in Italy. Peter was 35 years old at the time and Grace was 23. They moved to Connecticut in 1964 and had two children and four grandchildren.

“She was a very good wife, very good cook, very good mother," Bilello said. "Wherever my wife would go, I go."

Grace was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

"I thought it was going to be OK," Bilello said.

Three years later, the cancer came back.

"Me and my wife were together all the time," he said. "She goes to chemo, I sit down next to her. And coming home, she lay down on the couch, she's very sick after the chemo and [I] do all the work in the house."

In 2009, Bilello came up with an idea to symbolize the love he and his wife had for each other. They would each sign a dollar bill.

"I told my wife, 'I'm going to sign one on the front: Peter B. I want you to sign one, too, for Grace B.,'" he said. "I put those two dollars in my wallet."

The dollar bills stayed put for about a year. Then Bilello said he made a mistake.

"By mistake I went shopping," he explained. "I don't know where I used the two dollars. I came home and told my wife... 'Grace, I made a big mistake today. ... I'm never going to see (the dollars again).'"

The couple celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2014. Then, in November 2014, Grace passed away after 13 years as a cancer survivor.

"I was close with my wife," Bilello said. "Anything she said, I would take care. Doctors, hospitals. I was with my wife all the time. And it made a lot of difference... for sick people to have support of the family.

"I was very supportive of my wife, that's why she lasted 13 years.”

A few weeks ago, Bilello took his granddaughter, Ashley, to Subways for lunch. He gave her a $10 bill and when she came back with the change, a miracle happened. The dollar read “Grace B.”

"I said, 'Oh my god, Ashley, look.' We started to cry," Bilello said. "We were so happy to get the dollar back. I never thought I'd get that dollar back.

"I told my granddaughter, we're going to go straight to the cemetery, and tell nonna (grandmother in Italian), my wife, that we got the dollar back,” Bilello continued. “I showed the dollar to my wife and said, 'Grace, look, I got your dollar back.'

"It's a miracle to get it back after 5 years. Who knows how many million people got that dollar in their hands."

Bilello credits his wife with the miracle.

"It happened to be ... the right time and right place," he said. "Nothing like this could happen. It's got to be a miracle."

Bilello said he’s keeping the dollar in a safe place. As for the dollar he signed himself, Bilello said: "Who knows there it is. I'd be happy to get my dollar back."

Photo Credit: Bilello Family/ABC News Today