Saturday, April 18 would have been Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s 19th wedding anniversary, but after his tragic death in January, she had to commemorate the milestone all by herself. Bryant posted a heartfelt message on Instagram that featured a throwback pic of Kobe kissing Vanessa on the cheek.
“My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you. ❤️” wrote the grieving widow.
Bryant also shared photos of a bouquet of red roses that she received from Kobe’s former teammate Pau Gasol and his wife, Catherine McDonnell. The kind gesture was in honor of Kobe and Vanessa’s anniversary, and Vanessa wrote in the caption that there were “Anniversary flowers from my Kobe.” The mother-of-four also thanked Gasol and McDonnell for the gift.
In the comments section, Gasol – who played with Kobe on the Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 to 2014 – wrote: “We love you V!” along with two heart emojis. McDonnell added that Vanessa is “so loved.”
Kobe and Vanessa met in 1999 on the set of a music video when he was 20 years old and she was 17. Their love story started not long after, and when she turned 18 he proposed. Kobe and Vanessa became husband and wife on April 18, 2001.
During the marriage, the couple welcomed four children: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, Capri, 9 months, and Gianna, who was just 13-years-old when she died in the tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California along with her dad.
Vanessa also posted an MTV video clip from 2001 where Kobe explained how he knew Vanessa was “the one” for him. Kobe said that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a person the one for you, but you just know.
”Love is a funny thing. I can’t explain it and I can’t understand it. All I know is, she caught my heart and I just knew that she was the one,” said Kobe.
He added that Vanessa is “very strong” and “very strong-willed,” and he envisioned them in the future as “two cool ass parents.”
After the recent WNBA draft – where Gianna was selected as an honorary pick – Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram that she is proud of her late daughter and she misses her greatly. Vanessa said that her daughter deserved to live a long, healthy, and happy life, and she wishes she could hold Gianna and tell her how proud she is.