It's fairly safe to assume that, for the majority of people, learning that they've been married to their father might come as something of a shock.
But Valerie Spruill's life was chock full of so many twists and turns that she handled it better than most.
The 60-year-old retired mother-of-three from Doylestown, Ohio, who was raised by her grandparents, had already lived through the discovery that a "night lady" who had been referred to as a "family friend" was, in fact, her mom. And when she was nine, Spruill was informed that the man she had been calling dad was actually her grandfather.
Concerning the most recent revelation — that her late spouse, Percy Spruill, was her real father — Valerie says she had long "overheard odd whispers," but wasn't officially told the truth until her uncle confessed a few years after her "husband/father" passed away in 1998.
A DNA test conducted to confirm the shocking news came back positive.
Percy fathered an unknown number of offspring, and Valerie is now on a mission to find them. Asked if her father knew she was his progeny, Spruill says she's not 100 percent sure as he never mentioned it, but adds that he may have been afraid to tell her.
As for why she's decided to let the world in on her family secret, Spruill says she "wants to be an example" to people of someone who emerged out of the most miserable of situations to live a "good, productive, [and] fulfilling" life.
"I want this to be more of an inspirational story," she says. "If I've come through this, anyone can come through anything through the help of the Lord."