New York: In a shocker, a 60-year-old US woman has discovered that her late husband was in fact her father. The truth was revealed to her by an uncle.
Valerie Spruill of Doylestown, Ohio learned of her husband's identity six years after he passed away in 1998
She is now going public with her past with the hope that it will inspire those going through a rough time, the New York Daily News reported.
"I want this to be more of an inspirational story," the 60-year-old told the newspaper. "If I've come through this, anyone can come through anything through the help of the Lord."
Ms Spruill's mother and father, Percy Spruill, first started seeing each other when he was 15. It remains unclear how many children they had together, though Ms Valerie says she is aware of six brothers.
Ms Spruill's grandmother began taking care of her when she was 3-months-old, but it wasn't until age 9 that she discovered the first of many secrets her family had kept from her.
She also learned that the man she believed was her father was actually her grandfather, realising that a woman who said she was a family friend actually was her mother.
The story "needs to be told, because children need to know where they come from," she said. "And I know it hurts, because I have been devastated by this."
Ms Valerie's mother, Christine, was a "night lady" before she died in 1984, she said.
In 2004, Ms Spruill confirmed that her late husband was her father with the help of a DNA test.
Ms Spruill said she can't say for certain whether Percy was aware of the extent of their relationship, though she believes he did know and was simply too afraid to tell her.
She is still seeing a therapist to come to terms with the difficult revelation.
She has also sought medical treatment for a series of serious medical problems that she believes stem from the stress she endured in the years after the discovery.
Ms Valerie says she hopes her decision to go public will help her find more siblings.
"My biggest goal is to find them and let them know that their mother loved them, no matter what," she said.
Story first published:
September 20, 2012 14:08 IST