On what would have been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday, his wife Vanessa Bryant honored him with a personal letter and a photo of the both of them on social media.
"To my baby ~ Happy Birthday. I love and miss you more than I can ever explain," Bryant wrote on Instagram. "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'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. I'm not the strong one, they are. They're strong and resilient. I'm sure you're proud of them," she added.
The 38-year-old went on to say how mad she was that she "didn't go first."
- 3February 10, 2020
"I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn't have to feel this heartache," she wrote. "Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should've been me."
Vanessa and Kobe's daughter, Natalia Bryant, also took to social media to pay tribute to her dad with a note and photo of the both of them from when she was a baby.
"Happy Birthday dad. I miss your smile, laugh and big bear hugs," Natalia wrote. "I will always remember our late night drives to the movie theater and the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always."
This week marks seven months since the basketball star was killed in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, and seven others. In honor of his life and legacy, the city of Los Angeles declared Aug. 24 as "Kobe Bryant Day" to commemorate the two jersey numbers that Bryant wore during his Lakers career: 8 and 24.
Nike is also celebrating Kobe Bryant this week with "Mamba Week," which they announced with an inspirational video on Instagram to honor everything that encapsulates his "Mamba Mentality": passion, focus, honesty, fearlessness and optimism.