Vanessa Bryant marks late daughter Gianna’s 14th birthday: ‘I wish I could wake up and have you here’

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Vanessa Bryant marked what would have been her late daughter Gianna Bryant’s 14th birthday Friday with a heartbreaking tribute and plea for “kindness.”

Kobe Bryant’s widow posted the messages on Instagram four months after the teen and her NBA star father died in a helicopter crash in Southern California.

“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever,” she wrote in the caption to a smiling photo of Gianna.

“I miss you so much everyday. 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!!!!!!!” she wrote.

The grieving mother shared a follow-up post that urged others to honor her daughter’s memory with action.

“Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures. Red means love and life. To commemorate Gigi’s birthday today, please consider wearing red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi’s way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness,” she said.

Gianna, whose nickname was Gigi, died Jan. 26 in the helicopter crash that also claimed her father and seven other people.

The chopper crashed in heavy fog on its way to a youth basketball tournament at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Gianna, an accomplished player, was on board with two of her teammates, Payton Chester, 13, and Alyssa Altobelli, 14.

Also killed were Alyssa’s parents John Altobelli, a 56-year-old college baseball coach, and Keri Altobelli, 46; Mamba basketball coach Christina Mauser, 38, a married mother of three; Payton’s mom Sara Chester, 45; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.


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