Vanessa Bryant celebrated her 38th birthday on Tuesday with a heartfelt tribute to her deceased husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant. The five-time NBA champion and Gigi tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash alongside seven other passengers on January 26.
“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi,” she shared. “I waited to open one more letter on my birthday.”
Though she did not reveal the content in the envelope, Vanessa, who would have celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary with Kobe in April, said the letter gave her “something to look forward to today.”
She added: “The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together.”
Vanessa, who shares the same birth month with Gigi, previously penned an emotional tribute to her on May 1, on what would have been her 14th birthday.
“Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you,” she posted on Instagram. “You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!”
A very tough loss, Vanessa has been very open about the family’s grief. On April 16, which marked the day Bryant played his final game for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016 before retiring, Vanessa shared a touching tribute to commemorate the day, speaking highly of her late husband’s legacy and life.
“My husband worked his ass off for 20 years. Gave it his all. All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time. He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives. He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement,” she shared.
“We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x bestselling author and coached Gianna’s basketball team in that time. She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy. I wish I could go back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn’t fair. This is just senseless.”