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A Valentine’s Day Tribute To Over 40 Years of Loving Cory
lines and perform them on stage, but another thing entirely to come up with your own thoughts and present them in a courtroom. It took time to get good at it, and Cory was my best constructive critic. She’d tell me when needed to get right down to the heart of what I was trying to say. In the 35 years that I’ve been practicing law, I’ve done a lot of trial work. And still, in all those years, I have never — and I mean never — tried a case without going through my closing statement with Cory first. I was using too much legalese and when I
My wife, Cory, and I have been married for 41 years — long enough for me to appreciate what a “partner for life” really means and long enough to recognize how much we have grown together and shaped one another over the years. Scripture says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”That has certainly been the case in our marriage (and I think I needed most of the sharpening). Cory and I were together long before Steffens Law was a business, and back before I was even a lawyer. When we first met, I had a degree in theater arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University. At the time, I was stage acting and working on productions in Omaha. The work was not very steady. Then I went into construction and opened my first business on the side. When construction work slowed down and I mentioned the possibility of law school, Cory was all for it. Going back to school after being away from the academic world for several years wasn’t easy. I was rusty. But when I was admitted to Washburn College of Law, Cory believed in me, and that made all the difference. She was pregnant with our first child before “we” finished law school, but she still worked at a title agency to help support us. Every now and then, I travel through Hastings, where I first worked as a lawyer, and I always drive by the tiny house we lived in. I honestly wonder how we managed to raise a child there. Although, I don’t know that there was ever a time in our lives when we were happier. With a background in theater, you’d think public speaking in the courtroomwould come easy for me, but that wasn’t the case. It was hard. I found it was one thing to memorize someone else’s
I know I can trust her to send me back to the drawing board when I’ve overlooked things and remind me that nobody really cares about 50-cent words. Steffens Law Office never would have grown like it has without Cory. She has always worked with me to build the business. She kept an eye on the details for me so I could think about the big picture. There were times, as we worked together to build the practice, when the line between wife and business partner was blurred. But we’ve always found a way to navigate it. A year ago, I finally wrangled the books away from her. The firm has grown so big now that we had no choice but to hire an accounting firm.
Looking back over our years of marriage, I believe I see God’s hand at work. I see the way my life was going before Cory and I met (basically, a ship without rudder) and how things changed once we became a couple. We have always trusted each other, and that trust and love has worked in our lives like a force multiplier. We’ve accomplished more together than we ever could have apart. It has been, and continues to be, the best possible life partnership.
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