Vanessa Bryant Marks First Father's Day Without Late Husband Kobe
By Jennifer Drysdale
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This Father's Day is a tough one for Vanessa Bryant. The holiday marked the first one Kobe Bryant's widow is experiencing since her late husband's death. Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 alongside seven others.
Vanessa took to Instagram on Sunday to commemorate the day, posting a throwback photo of Kobe with Gianna and his and Vanessa's other girls, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
"Happy Father's Day to the BEST daddy in the world. We miss you so much. We love you forever and always. Love, Nani, Gigi, BB, Koko and VB," Vanessa captioned the post, adding a heart and kissy face emoji. She also added the hashtags, "#BestoftheBest" and "#GirlDad."
"Kobe was the MVP of Girl Dads -- or the MVD. He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave and how to keep pushing forward when things get tough," she said. "And when Kobe retired from the NBA, he took over picking up and dropping off the girls from school since I was at home pregnant with Bianka and just recently home nursing Capri."
"When Kobe was still playing, I used to show up an hour early to be the first in line to pick up Natalia and Gianna from school and I told him he couldn’t drop the ball once he took over. He was late one time and we most definitely let him know that I was never late," Vanessa continued. "So he showed up one hour and 20 minutes early after that. He always knew there was room for improvement and wanted to do better. He happily did carpool and enjoyed spending time in the car with our girls."
Vanessa described Kobe as "a doting father" who was "hands-on and present."
"He helped me bathe Bianka and Capri almost every night. He would sing them silly songs in the shower and continue making them laugh and smile as he lathered them in lotion and got them ready for bed," she recounted. "He had magic arms and could put Capri to sleep in only a matter of minutes. He said he had it down to a science -- eight times up and down our hallway. He loved taking Bianka to Fashion Island and watch her play in the koi pond area and he loved taking her to the park. Their most recent visit to the koi pond was the evening before he and Gigi passed."
See more on Kobe's life as a dad in the video below.