Yeah, I know - most everyone works via the Internet these days. Many of us have never even met our editors. But they can be as important to our work life as our closest friends are to our personal lives. I've had several editors, some better than others.
Two great ones stand out. A fantastic editor will do several things for you - first, they'll polish your work and make it shine even brighter. Second, they'll be straight with you and tell you when something sucks and when it's brilliant. But the most important thing they do for you is to make you a better writer. The things I've learned and continue to learn from them have made me a stronger self-editor, thus making their job easier on the next manuscript of mine they work on. That's something I'll take with me always.
No one likes to see a ton of changes on their manuscript, but I welcome the ideas. After all, the goal is to make the work stand out. All this and they rarely get much of a pat on the back. If I ever meet them, the first thing I'm going to do is to give them a heartfelt hug.