When He Said Goodbye
Marcie Wicker is neither wife nor widow after her husband disappears along with their life savings. She refuses to accept that Stan left her and their children and badgers the police to keep searching, When she falls in love again, she must decide whether to agree to a divorce or accept that until Stan is found, she is not free. Marcie's faith in in God gives her the strength she needs. More
Marcie Wicker is just as determined that her husband, Stan, met with an accident or foul play as the police are certain he left his family and assumed a new identity. The detective on the case points out that he methodically withdrew their life savings, a considerable amount of money, before he disappeared.
Marcie is torn between her conviction and her family's equally strong belief that the police are right. Her parents urge her to consider divorce and tell her to "move on." Her twins, Amy and Xander, are bitter about the loss of their college funds and won't discuss their father with her.
Front Street Church, where Marcie serves as organist, has been without a full-time pastor for months, and she is glad to learn that a new pastor has been appointed. Adam Shepherd entered the ministry after twenty years in business and his brusque manner offends many people. When rumors that he was hospitalized for depression follow Adam from his former church, the congregation is divided in whether to retain him or ask for a replacement. Marcie, recovering from her own bouts of depression, votes to keep him.
When Adam learns that Marcie supported him, he invites her to lunch. The two become friends and, after a few more dates, Marcie believes that she is ready to give her heart again even though she is not free. With no proof that Stan is dead, her only recourse is a divorce, which she cannot bring herself to do. She feels the now-familiar depression taking hold once more.
Taking Marcie’s advice, Adam opens up to the congregation and confesses that he had a panic attack during service the day after he learned his ex-wife married his business partner. He had been ready to give up his career to serve God, but not his family. But Linda was not prepared to be a pastor’s wife, and left him, taking their 13-year-old daughter, Lizzie, with her. After a sabbatical, Adam feels more than ready to resume his ministry.
Adam has missed Lizzie and when Linda calls and asks if he will take her for a weekend, he is delighted. Remembering all the times he put his business ahead of family while Lizzie was growing up, he sees this as a second chance to get to know his daughter.
Faced with a hostile congregation, a church in financial difficulties, and now a daughter who needs guidance, Adam reluctantly decides that he doesn’t need to drag Marcie into his situation and doesn’t ask her out again. Marcie is heartbroken a second time.
While Marcie concentrates on her job and her children, the detective who took over the case is impressed with her faith in her husband, and reluctantly reviews the evidence. When he finds a discrepancy, he painstakingly tracks down and questions each witness until he gets a confession to Stan's murder.
Marcie is grieved, but also relieved to have closure. She can finally claim Stan's insurance, but the rest of the money is still missing. A birthday gift contains a clue, and with her son's help, she recovers the money Stan had carefully hidden.
Adam conducts Stan's memorial service and the two realize their attraction is as strong as ever. But there is still an impediment: Adam has taken full custody of Lizzie and Lizzie is not about to accept Marcie as a stepmother. When Adam finally takes charge and tells her he and Marcie are getting married, his daughter's reaction startles him. Because her stepfather convinced her mother to relinquish her rights, she assumed that Marcie would demand that Adam give her up also. She is terrified of having to live with her old-fashioned--and strict--grandparents.
Marcie assures Lizzie this is not the case, and explains that her grandmother was wrong in telling her that Marcie would not be willing to raise another child because she'd already raised two. She had always wanted more children, but wasn't able after the twins' difficult birth.
The crisis solved, the two plan a future together.
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