We all have quirks with our significant others. Sometimes it’s pet names, sometimes it’s matching trinkets, and sometimes it’s cute rituals that stick with you forever. Whatever your thing is, you’d be devastated to lose it.
For Peter Bilello, he and his wife Grace had a lifetime of love, but one day Peter accidentally lost the trinkets the couple held so close.
It all started over 50 years ago when Peter and Grace were in Italy. Peter had gone home to visit his mom, and she was determined to set him up with “a girl she knew.”
“My mother, she knew this girl,” Peter, 86, told ABC News. “And my mother says, ‘Why don’t you get married.’ … She don’t know me, I don’t know her.”
That girl she knew was Grace, and forty days later, Peter and her were getting married. They moved to Connecticut in 1964, had two kids, and four beautiful grandchildren.
“She was a very good wife, very good cook, very good mother,” Peter told ABC News. “Wherever my wife would go, I go.”
In 2001, life hit hard when Grace and Peter found out Grace was diagnosed with cancer. She would need an operation, chemotherapy, and radiation, but Peter never gave up.
“I thought it was going to be OK,” he said.
Grace fought through the hard times, but three years later her cancer came back, and more treatment was needed.
“Me and my wife were together all the time,” Peter recalled. “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.”
“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.”
In 2009, Peter and Grace decided they want to do something fun that bonded them forever: they were each going to sign a $1 bill and keep them forever.
“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.,'” Peter said. “I put those 2 dollars in my wallet.”
Peter kept the bills in his wallet for years. He always treasured them, but one day he accidentally spent the bills while out shopping.
The bills stayed there for a year. Then, about five years ago, “By mistake I went shopping,” he said. “I don’t know where I used the 2 dollars. I came home and told my wife… ‘Grace, I made a big mistake today. … I’m never going to see [the dollars again].'”
Peter and Grace were disappointed that they lost something so dear to them, but at least they still had each other. Then, in 2014, after 13 years as a cancer survivor, Grace passed away. She and Peter had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier that year.
Of course Peter was upset about losing his wife, but something about losing those bills as well made it even harder. He could have had a piece of her still with him, but now they were out circulating in the world being spent on God knows what.
While out with his granddaughter Ashley in 2015, Peter gave her a $10 bill to go to the sandwich shop for lunch. When she came back with the change, Peter was shocked.
There was a $1 bill that said “Grace B.”
“I said, ‘Oh my god, Ashley, look.’ We started to cry,” Peter recalled. “We were so happy to get the dollar back. I never thought I’d get that dollar back.”
Ashley, who was 14 at the time, wasn’t totally sold at first.
“I didn’t see it at first because I was just giving him back the change,” she said. “Then when he showed me, at first you didn’t believe it, but you still wanted to. But then when he got home, you can look at the signature to see how they matched up.”
Peter was thrilled. He finally had a piece of his wife back.
“I told my granddaughter, we’re going to go straight to the cemetery, and tell Nonna, my wife, that we got the dollar back,” he said. “I showed the dollar to my wife and said, ‘Grace, look, I got your dollar back.'”
Peter knows that it was no accident that he got his wife’s dollar back. It was his wife
“It’s a miracle to get it back after 5 years,” he said. “Who knows how many million people got that dollar in their hands. It happened to be the right time and right place. Nothing like this could happen. It’s got to be a miracle.”
The dollar is now in a safe place, where Peter can’t accidentally spend it ever again.
“Nobody’s gonna get that dollar anymore,” Bilello said. “No way.”
[H/T: ABC News]