Andrew Thompson has tried on a number of occasions to show his fiancée, Debi, just how much she means to him.
He replaced her deck once and remodeled her bathroom, only to find out that Debi wasn’t all that interested in him performing tasks FOR her. That’s always been her job, whether it’s for animals, assault victims, or anyone else who needs help.
Debi is so much more accustomed to giving than receiving, so Andrew’s surprises haven’t gone exactly as he has planned.
He laughs as he talks about the bathroom he upgraded, which Debi thought looked so good that she immediately started thinking about what had to be done next. Andrew could still tell that she liked his work and appreciated the gesture, even if accepting the help felt unnatural at first.
“I’ve learned she doesn’t like surprises,” Andrew said. “She comes home and sees it and says, ‘Now this looks nicer than any part of my house. Now we’ve got to make the rest of the house look just as good.’ But she really loved it in her own way. She’s just not used to people doing that for her.”
Debi’s heart goes out to animals she loves to adopt — she and Andrew now have three dogs and six cats — and to cancer patients and women who are recovering from traumatic experiences. She also spent 10 years loving and caring for her mother, Margarett, before she passed in October, which was a difficult moment in a year that had far too many of them.
Debi never stops pressing forward, though, which is one of the things that Andrew loves most about her. He has learned a thing or two from her toughness and the empathy that she shares with everyone she meets. Debi has shown Andrew how to push through life’s hard moments and to grow from them.
“She’s just made me realize that life is hard because she’s dealt with stuff in her life that I haven’t,” Andrew said. “She’s just had a harder time than I have, and she’s made me more humble.”
Debi doesn’t have much down time, but she loves spending time with her “critters,” going to the beach, and driving her Jeep on back roads. She and Andrew have a plan to get married at the beach as soon as life normalizes from the pandemic.
Unlike the deck and bathroom surprises, Mexico Beach in Florida is also the site of perhaps his most successful surprise for Debi yet. They visited shortly after her favorite spot, Toucan’s, was destroyed by a hurricane. They couldn’t eat there, but they grabbed pizza and drove to the site where it once was.
“We had the pizza and drove down in the sand to where Toucan’s was, and I said, ‘Now we’re eating at Toucan’s,’” Andrew said. “She said it was the best thing I’ve ever done.’”
Debi is worth that effort, and so much more. Andrew can’t wait to finally marry her and kick off a new year that puts 2020 in their rearview mirror for good. He considers himself lucky to be with Debi and couldn’t be more excited for the future.
“She’s the best woman I could ever want,” Andrew said. “There’s no other woman on this earth like her.”