Valerie Spruill is telling her sad story to inspire others
Through a series of strange and unfortunate events an Ohio woman ended up marrying a man who was actually her father. Valerie Spruill learned of the family secret in 2004 from an uncle after her husband/father died.
She shared her information with the Akron Beacon Journal because she wants to be an example that even people born into miserable situations can still lead productive and fulfilling lives.
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Here's how it happened.
Valerie's mother was a "lady of the night" and hooked up with a man named Percy Spruill when he was 15. Valerie was sent to live with her grandparents when she was three months old and told her grandfather was her father and her mother was a family friend. Her biological mother was jailed on sex charges in 1980. Valerie and Percy later met and married. She had heard rumours Percy was her father and in 2004, an uncle confirmed the rumours to be true. Percy may have had many offspring and Valerie isn't even sure Percy was 100 per cent certain of the relationship.
Valerie learned for sure her husband was her father through a DNA test.
Valerie is 60 now and retired after working in the accounting department at Goodyear for 43 years. She has three kids and eight grandkids. According to the Journal she has fought serious health problems, but is upbeat and positive about the future.
"I want this to be an inspirational story," she told the Journal. "If I've come through this, anyone can come through anything through the help of the Lord."
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She is also hoping by telling her story she will be able to locate additional siblings. If she meets them she wants to tell them their mother loved them and she gave them away so they could have a better life. Valerie's mother died in 1984.
Valerie wasn't able to find a support group for people in a similar situation, but she is working with a therapist to help her realize she did nothing wrong. She told the Journal she tries to not hate him because people who hate don't get into heaven.
While there aren't many similar situations, this isn't the first time it's happened.
James and Maura (their last names are not revealed) lived 100 kilometres apart and met one night in Ireland. The BBC reports they began dating and moved in together. James contacted his estranged mother to tell her about Maura and that's when they discovered they are half siblings. As of the 2010 article, the couple had been living together for seven years and had a five-year-old son.