Life is Short and Precious

…and sometimes things change in a heartbeat. That is certainly the way I felt this morning when I learned of the unexpected death of my good friend, colleague, and mentor, Suzanne P. Smith. She was at her home in Florida and looking forward to heading to her condo in Washington DC in a few weeks, where she would spend time visiting her children and grandchildren.

Suzanne was on the planning committee for INANE 2014. She had a wealth of knowledge to share, as Suzanne has been participating in INANE from the very beginning. When I would bring up new ideas, she was often cautious and made me explain myself very clearly why I thought this would be a good initiative for INANE. For next year’s conference, there were innovations that never made it past the brainstorm stage. But others did–one of these was the Developing Editors Grant Fund, which we have renamed the Suzanne Smith Mentoring Editors Awards in her honor.

Anyone who knew Suzanne, even a little, knows that mentorship was a core value and part of her spirit. She loved supporting others, helping them to learn, and sharing in their success. Mentorship was certainly key in our relationship even after we had moved on and became good friends. When I have editing questions or need advice, I have a sort list of people I turn to. Suzanne has always been on that list.

I can’t really believe I won’t see Suzanne at INANE next summer. She was so excited about the conference, the venue, the speakers, and the additional events, especially the Freeport shopping! I know that the opening reception is going to be tough, not having Suzanne next to me to share a glass of wine. However, I know she will be with us in spirit and we can all remember and honor her memory through the Mentoring Editors Awards named in her honor.

You can learn more about the awards here and if you choose, make a donation at this link. Thank you in advance for your generous contribution. Please, too, let those you think might be candidates to receive awards know about this opportunity. The application form is here.

The nursing profession has lost a good friend and special leader. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all of us in the editor community.


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