Meet Our Models – Pam Prichard, Esther Helton-Haynes, & Cleo Gravitt

If you were to ask Pam Prichard, Esther Helton-Haynes, and Cleo Gravitt what makes their friendship so special, they’ll likely tell you that it’s the fact that they offer each other a safe space to celebrate life’s triumphs and contemplate life’s challenges. Each commending one another for being a good listener, these three ladies were brought together through a combination of mutual friends and family members. What was once a casual friendship has now been cultivated into a sisterhood where laughter flows freely and bonds are cherished.  

HS: What are some valuable traits of the other ladies that make them such an integral part of your support system?

EH: I can trust them. They are non-judgmental and good listeners. They have empathy for others, and spending time with them makes me feel good!

CG: Our support system leans heavily on knowing we are only a phone call or text away. There is always laughter when we are together, and when there is sadness, it’s shared equally because when one hurts, we all hurt. 

HS: Why do you think it’s necessary to have a support system in place?

EH: It gives me a higher level of well-being. It helps with my coping skills and helps me in living a healthier life because I have friends to share things with when I need support.

PP: Having support makes a person feel as if they belong to something. It’s a healthy part of life.

CG: It’s important because a friend can offer support through encouragement and challenge you to be better. Having a support system with someone in neutral territory also helps you to see things from a different perspective.

HS: What’s the most important thing you’ve taught each other since meeting?

EH: That friendship is a special gift. That no matter where you are in life, true friendship endures.

CG: Friendship is a valuable tool that is needed at all hours of the day and night! Knowing there are people who will support you and be there for you is the ultimate friendship.

HS: How has your relationship changed through the years? What does it look like now versus when you first met?

EH: Years ago my relationship with Pam revolved around our boys. Now our friendship is girlfriend centric, and we just have a whole lot of fun when we are together. My friendship with Cleo started out as a couple’s friendship but has grown into a sisterhood. 

PP: We have gone for years at a time not seeing each other. Our lives went different ways, but once we were together again the years never went away. We picked up right where we started. Our friendship is strong, and we have all grown from when we first met. 

HS: How do you approach wellness, both separately and as a group?

EH: Wellness starts from a common sense approach for me – everything in moderation regarding what I eat and drink. I try to go to bed at the same time every night and get at least seven hours of sleep, and I try to walk at least four miles every day.

PP: I hate to say I don’t get much time to walk or exercise with Esther as I would like, but personally, I see a personal trainer twice a week, do pilates at the YMCA, and do water aerobics once a week during the winter. My husband and I also try to get in a dance lesson once a week. 

CG: Wellness for me consists of walking and watching what I eat. Esther and I like to walk at Camp Jordan or Eastgate when we can, but wellness consists of so much more than just exercise and physical activity. I truly believe in taking time to recharge mentally as well.

HS: What are your favorite ways to bond and lift each other up?

EH: Always trying to be there for one another and to be a good listener and only offer advice when asked. We also love unconditionally, and some of our best times have been spent sharing a great meal and great conversation.

PP: I like having lunches and talking with my friends. Laughing when feeling down is something I really enjoy and know makes me feel better. Sometimes saying positive things to one another or just being a shoulder for each other is all we need.

CG: Constant encouragement, such as sending a text with a positive thought or a phone call just to say hi! Girls’ nights are always fun, and the laughter is a welcomed feeling.

HS: Is there anything you’d like to add?

PP: I would like to share one thing Esther said to me 17 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had found out through a mutual friend, and at the time, Esther and I had not seen each other in several years. She calls me and sincerely tells me what a beautiful and strong person I am inside and out. It was so kind and made me cry. It still makes me cry to this day. Her words meant the world to me then, and they still do. 

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