Vanessa Bryant Pays Emotional Tribute to Kobe Bryant on What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Vanessa Bryant paid an emotional tribute to her late husband Kobe Bryant, who died alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a January 26 helicopter crash, on what would’ve been the former Laker’s 42nd birthday

“To my baby~ Happy birthday,” Vanessa Bryant wrote Sunday in a message posted to her Instagram page. “I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi.

“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 miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

The Los Angeles Lakers will wear special “Black Mamba” uniforms Monday in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. Monday, which is Aug. 24 — or 8/24 — represents the two numbers Bryant wore as a Laker.

Bryant was the father of four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 14-month-old Capri.

“Thank you for growing up with me and teaching me how to be strong,” Vanessa Bryant continued in her post. “How to try to see the best in people but cutout the bs. Your thoughtful gestures and the amazing way you made us all feel is extremely missed. I picture your smile and wide big welcoming hugs daily.

“God I miss you both so much. Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. 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. They put a smile on my face everyday.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Lorenzo Reyes