Vanessa Bryant Marks Late Daughter Gianna's 15th Birthday with Touching Tribute: 'I Miss You Every Day'
"Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! ❤️😘I love you!" Vanessa wrote in a touching message on Saturday, which she shared alongside a throwback shot of the pair smiling while embracing one another.
"I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you," she added. "I love you Mamacita!"
Sharing the same photo on her Instagram Stories, Vanessa added the caption, "Mommy, Daddy, Nani, B.B. and Koko love you and miss you so much!"
In another post, which was a portrait of Vanessa and her daughters, the matriarch wrote, "Today is my Baby's Birthday. When I thought about how best to celebrate Gianna's birthday with so many who loved her, I knew it had to be a combination of sharing her bright and fun personality with her sense of purpose and passion that would help make a difference in this world. Gianna was kind, energetic, a leader, and had so much MAMBACITA swag."
Kobe Bryant's sister Sharia Washington also commemorated the day, sharing a series of throwback shots of Gianna, who died in a January 2020 helicopter crash alongside her father and seven others.
"Happy 15th birthday Gigi❤️ You inspire us to do better and be better everyday. We love you and we miss you!" she wrote in the tribute.
Recently, Vanessa — who is also mother to Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and 22-month-old Capri —relaunched Kobe's charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nod to the father-daughter duo, to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes. It is a goal Kobe long championed.
Ahead of Gianna's 15th birthday, Vanessa debuted a collection of apparel that will benefit the foundation. Sweatpants offered by the organization come with a No. 2 on the left leg, which was Gianna's jersey number while playing basketball.
On Saturday, Vanessa spoke more about the collection in honor of Gianna. "When I thought about who would help me capture her laid back yet girly-edge, I thought of female-owned @DANNIJO. Two fun-loving sisters running a successful clothing line, they jumped on the opportunity to celebrate Gigi's birthday with us, completely pro-bono. I am so proud of the limited-edition MAMBACITA x DANNIJO tie-dye sweat set capsule collection, which celebrates Gigi's spirit in every little detail – even the placement of #PlayGigisWay on the right arm of each hoodie-- her shooting arm 🏀 But what Gigi would love most about the Collection is that 100% of the proceeds will support the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports," Vanessa explained.
"Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports, and it's fitting that this capsule represents her values. Thank you to everyone who made this fundraiser possible, inspired by the loving memory of Gianna Maria- Onor'e Bryant. Please know our family deeply appreciates the way the world continues to celebrate our sweet girl, and we look forward to paying it forward to future Lil MAMBACITAS and Lady Mambas through the work of our Foundation. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIGI!!!!" she concluded.
As she previously announced the news, Vanessa shared a series of photos that showed her and her daughters wearing the new collection. "In honor of my Gigi's 15th Birthday," she captioned one snap.
Vanessa recently spoke to PEOPLE about the grief she is enduring following the loss of her husband and daughter.
"I can't say that I'm strong every day," she told PEOPLE in March. "I can't say that there aren't days when I feel like I can't survive to the next."
"This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward," Vanessa added. "Lying in bed crying isn't going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that's what I do."
Last year, Vanessa paid tribute to Gianna on her 14th birthday by penning a post to Instagram that called her "part of MY SOUL forever."
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Vanessa also shared a picture of her wearing a red bracelet with "Gigi Bryant" and "Mambacita" written in white. She explained that Gianna loved to wear a red bow in her school pictures.
"I miss you so much everyday," she said at the time. "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!!!!!!!"
In her own tribute last year, Natalia honored her little sister by posting a picture to Instagram of the two hugging.
"Happy 14th Birthday Gigi!" she wrote. "I miss your smile everyday but I know you're always smiling down on us from heaven with daddy.I LOVE YOU."