Vanessa Bryant turned 38 on Tuesday, her first birthday since the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in a tragic helicopter crash in late January.
It’s likely a day filled with both celebration and sadness for Vanessa. She is raising her three surviving children while mourning her daughter and husband, the person who probably made her feel like the most special woman in the world on her birthday.
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Kobe still had one birthday surprise up his sleeve, though. On Instagram on Tuesday, Vanessa posted about a letter Kobe had written to her that she found on Monday and had yet to open.
She wrote that decided to wait until her birthday to open it so she could get one final birthday letter from her husband.
“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi,” Bryant wrote.
“I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today.
“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. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️#MyBirthdayWish”
Vanessa didn’t reveal what was in the letter, but she did say that it was “ironic” that Kobe had commissioned an artist to draw her with an angel holding her up.
Vanessa’s birthday comes just four days after Gianna’s birthday. Gianna would have been 14 on May 1, which Vanessa commemorated on social media with an emotional Instagram post.
Vanessa Bryant's heartbreaking birthday tribute to daughter
Gigi was set to turn 14 on Friday and her mother Vanessa sent out a heartbreaking Instagram post to pay tribute to her daughter.
“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you,” she wrote.
“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!”
She also shared a post asking friends and family to wear red for her daughter’s birthday.
“Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures. Red means love and life,” she wrote.
“To commemorate Gigi’s birthday today, please consider wearing red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi’s way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness.”