“Happy birthday, Papi,” she captioned a sweet photo of the two sharing a passionate kiss via Instagram on Monday, August 23. “Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno. ❤️💔 43.” (Translated into English: “I love you forever. Eternal love.")
Along with seven others, the former Los Angeles Laker and the couple's daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, 13, were killed when their helicopter crashed into a Calabasas, Calif. hillside on January 26, 2020.
Vanessa — who has admittedly struggled with staying positive while raising their remaining three daughters, Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 2 — recently shared her emotional experience dropping her eldest daughter off for college.
“Today was rough. (This was before the tears came down),” she captioned a snap of her with her beautiful little ones all sporting University of Southern California gear. “Missing ✌🏽forever. I love you @nataliabryant BE EPIC and FIGHT ON. ❤️💛.”
Natalia commented on the sweet post, saying, “I love you!!!.”
Vanessa's followers praised her for her strength and for being a wonderful single mom through these hard times.
“You’re amazing in every way. Amazing mom, amazing person❤️,” WWE superstar Natalya Neidhart commented, while actress Gabrielle Union-Wade wrote: “We will all be 👀👀👀🤣 with @nataliabryant in LA #FamilyOverEverything.”
The late athlete’s wife announced their eldest daughter’s college acceptance in March alongside a video showing the then-high school senior excitedly jumping up and down after she learned the news.
"Tears of joy. I’m SO happy for you Nani! I know daddy is so PROUD OF YOU. I am so PROUD OF YOU!!,” she captioned a clip via Instagram of the milestone moment. “Your hard work and dedication was so worth it. You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded. I wish Daddy and Gigi were physically here to celebrate but I know they’re here in spirit. We love you so much! #USC #Trojan #FightOn ❤️.”