The legendary basketball player passed away this year in a tragic accident. His 13-year-old daughter Gigi was with him during the accident. She didn't survive either.
There is no easy way to move on after losing someone you've loved and spent your life with. Each memory is like a pearl, strung together into a beautiful piece of jewelry you would always keep close. Vanessa Bryant suffered a great deal when she lost her husband and daughter in a horrific helicopter crash. Kobe Bryant, 42, and his daughter Gianna, 13, passed away on January 26.
She marked her husband's 42nd birthday with an emotional post on her Instagram. She penned, "To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi."
"I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh. I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way," she continued, as reported by People.
She further added, "Thank you for growing up with me and teaching me how to be strong. How to try to see the best in people but cutout the bs. Your thoughtful gestures and the amazing way you made us all feel is extremely missed. I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily."
She said how much she misses both of them she said, "Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter." Talking about her daughters she said that they were stronger than she was, "strong and resilient" girls who "put a smile on my face every day."
She also made a heartbreaking confession that she was "mad" and wished to "go first." She said, "I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare... I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me," she added referring to her three other daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 14-month-old Capri.
Kobe and Gianna were among the nine who were victims of the crash, including Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and the helicopter's pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
"There's so much I wish I could tell you and show you and Gigi. So many things you would both be happy to see and be a part of. So many milestones for our girls," Vanessa said and thanked Kobe for loving her enough.
She concluded, "Thank you for loving me enough to last several lifetimes. In every lifetime I would choose YOU. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank YOU for everything. I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always."
The couple's eldest daughter Natalia also paid a tribute to her father. Posting a picture of them she wrote, "Happy Bithday Dad ❤️ I miss your smile, laugh and big bear hugs. Happy Birthday to the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for. I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always. Always, Slim," reported by The Daily Mail.
The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation who helps fund athletes earn their way to school, league teams, and equal opportunities for young women, dedicated a video to the late legendary basketball player produced by Nike a day before his birthday, reported Good Morning America.
The foundation also revealed that the website would be relaunched to be more useful to the underserved communities with future sports programs. On February 13, the organization formerly known as the Mamba Sports Foundation which refers to Kobe's "Black Mamba" nickname added "Mambacita" to its name as a tribute to Gianna who was walking on the same path as her father.