Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, couldn’t help but be moved to tears as she remembered him at a memorial service.
On Tuesday (PH Time), Vanessa Bryant began her emotional speech at the Staples Center by thanking everyone who consoled her throughout the entire grieving period.
She the recalled her fondest memories of her daughter, Gianna, whom she referred to as a “sweet and gentle soul.”
“My baby girl — Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. She always would kissed me goodnight, kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianca and Capri and I thought she had left school without saying goodbye. I'd text and say 'no kiss?' And Giana would reply with 'Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep, and I didn’t want to wake you,” she said.
Vanessa, who said her late husband would see her traits in Gianna, remembered her as a competitive girl just like the baskteball legend.
“Gigi was very competitive, like her daddy. But Gianna had a sweet grace about her. Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me,” she stated.
Then again, Vanessa would see her more like Kobe, who loved helping out other people.
“She was very much like her daddy, in that they both liked helping people learn new things and master them. They were great teachers. Gigi was very sweet. She always made sure everyone was okay. She was our shepherd. She always kept our family together. She loved family traditions; family movie night and game night on vacations were important to her,” she said.
She went on: “Gigi always looked out for everyone. She was very much in tune with our feelings and wanted the best for us. Gianna was smart. She knew how to read, speak and write Mandarin. She knew Spanish. She had great grades and kept them up, all while becoming an incredible basketball player.”
Meanwhile, Vanessa remembered Kobe as a romantic gentleman, who gave her handmade gifts she will treasure forever.
“He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman, he was loving, adoring and romantic. He was truly the romantic one in our relationship and looked forward to Valentine's days and our anniversaries every year. He planned special anniversary trips and a special traditional gift for every year of our marriage. He even handmade my most treasured gifts,” she said.
Recalling a text mesaage she received from him weeks before he passed away, she said: “A couple weeks before they passed, Kobe sent me a sweet text and mentioned how he wanted to spend time together; just the two of us without our kids, because I'm his best friend first. We never got the chance to do it. We were busy taking care of our girls and just doing our regular, everyday responsibilities. But I'm thankful I have that recent text. It means so much to me.”
Talking about the legacy her husband wanted to leave behind, she said: “The kind of man that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep them from making his own mistakes. He always liked working and doing projects to improve kids' lives. He taught us all valuable lessons about life and sports through his NBA career, his books, his showed detail, and his Punies podcast series, and we're so thankful he left those lessons and stories behind for us.”
Sharing how Kobe naturally captured the hearts of everyone, she said: “Everyone naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn't be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together.”
She ended the eulogy by saying: “Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo-Boo and GiGi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both, and miss you, forever and always. Mommy.”
Kobe Bryant died alongside his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash last January 26, 2020.
He was best known for being a player for American baskteball team Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant was particularly special to his Pinoy fans as he has visited the Philippines numerous times throughout his basketball career.