Hartford widower accidentally spends dollar bill signed by wife, gets it back as change


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Years ago, Peter Bilello and the love of his life, his wife of 50 years, each signed a dollar bill.

“I signed one and she signed the other one, and I said ‘this dollar is going to be in my wallet forever,'” the 86-year-old widower said.

But he accidentally spent it.

“I feel so mad, I feel sorry and said ‘we’re never going to see those two dollars back again.'”

His wife, Grace, died of breast cancer in November, five months after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Seven months later, there was a miraculous discovery when he took his granddaughter to a Subway in Wethersfield and looked at the three dollars he received in change.

“When I see the first one, it was my wife’s dollar,” he said. “‘Oh my God, Ashley, look at Nona’s dollar, back again five years later.'”

The dollar with Grace B. on the front mended his broken heart.

“I never thought I was going to get that dollar back again, never. The first thing I said, ‘Grace, she did this to make me happy and her to be happy too.'”

Visits to her grave site are now more comforting for Peter.

“I believe (in miracles) too,” he said. “Every time I go over there, I cry, I say, ‘Grace you did this.'”

The ever couple meeting was also a bit of a miracle. Peter was working in the United States when he went back home to southern Sicily and his mother began questioning her unmarried son as only a mother could.

“My mother asking me, ‘say, why don’t you get married? What are you waiting for?'” he said. “She said, ‘I know a nice girl on the same street and her name is Grace. Take a look and see if you like.”

He looked at Grace and liked what he saw. So did she.

“She had to like me to get married in 40 days,” Bilello said with a laugh.

They moved to Hartford where they were blessed with two children and four grandchildren. Their enduring love was eventually symbolized in the two one-dollar bills. Peter is hopeful the dollar bill he signed will make it back to him as well.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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