Two very special people, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, were missing from Vanessa Bryant’s birthday celebration this year, but she was still surrounded by love thanks to her three daughters.
Vanessa Bryant had her three daughters (Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 10 months) by her side as she rang in her 38th birthday on May 5. She took to Instagram to share a family photo of the celebration, which doubled as a Cinco de Mayo party. In the pic, the gorgeous mama is carrying Capri, while receiving a hug from Natalia, with Bianka standing by her legs. The whole family is all smiles while surrounded by flowers and pinatas, which Vanessa noted were gifts from the girls.
Of course, there were two very important people who Vanessa was not able to celebrate her birthday with this year: Her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna Bryant. Kobe and Gianna were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January. However, Vanessa did have a piece of her husband with her on her birthday — one day before her big day, she discovered a note that Kobe wrote to her before his death, and she waited until her birthday to open it.
Vanessa shared a photo of the envelope on Instagram, and 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.”
Just days before Vanessa’s 38th birthday was the day Gianna would have turned 14 (May 1). Obviously, this was also an emotional day for the family, and Vanessa wrote a sweet tribute to her little girl on Instagram to commemorate the occasion. “Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you,” she wrote. “You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much every day.”