Updated: Feb 20
Dear Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka and Capri,
The world lost a legend. A man that many revere as one of the greatest athletes of our time. To you, though, he was an amazing husband and father, and to that we honor the 4 of you.
We share the same birthday you and I. I’m a year older, and so I have always felt a kinship to you. You did, after all, marry my high school celebrity crush 😊.
Throughout your 20+ year relationship with Kobe, we have watched you navigate the sports world with such confidence and pride that was awe-inspiring. Even through adversity, which I know was both seen and unseen by the public, you’ve handled yourself with such grace and humility, epitomizing what it means to be a strong woman. A caring and confident wife. A loving and present mother. You demanded what you needed and Kobe supplied it, loving you wholly and completely.
See, when it comes to being a wife, only those who have been married can fully understand the dynamic. The two people in a marriage are really the only two people that know the ins and outs. So much of Kobe’s life was public and often times the public will cast their opinions onto you not knowing the whole story. Regardless of all the hoopla, Kobe was your husband. Your choice every day. The father to your beautiful daughters and most importantly, your best friend.
Sunday was not only hard because you lost your best friend, but it was compounded by the fact that you lost one of your daughters as well. Gianna lit up every picture I’ve ever seen of her and reading the accounts of people who know your family intimately, she was a light in everyone’s heart as well. Raising strong, beautiful, smart and confident daughters is definitely no easy feat but you’ve done it, you’re doing it and will continue to do it.
In the upcoming days, weeks, months and years; at times the pain will seem unbearable. I won’t pretend to understand it or offer some cliché words of comfort because I know that all the well-intentioned quotes fail in comparison to the gravity of your loss. I will say this, we at MommiNation and all around the world have been praying with you and for you since the news broke, and we will continue to pray for you and the girls and the entire family.
To Natalia, Bianka & Capri…
It’s such an incredible blessing to have a mother and a father who love you without waiver. You’ve had that in your parents. I can’t sit and write that I understand what it feels to lose a parent or a sibling so I won’t try to.
You have been privy to all the wonderful things that your father has done in his life. You’ve been by his side through many of those accomplishments and your memory is filled with his goodness. I can only assume that his role as father is the one you hold most dearly to your heart. The way his face lit up when he spoke of you and your sisters, warmed the hearts of the world. His pride beamed, his love was displayed and he was an example to other men, black men specifically, on being a fierce competitor and businessman yet a gentle teddy bear at home.
You and Gianna seemed close and it was just the two of you for a while, so I can only imagine the bond that you two shared. The pain you feel is ok. It’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to laugh at all the memories of the good times. If there is any consolation in all of this, it’s that they were together and even that, I know, seems unfair.
For Bianka & Capri, they will learn a lot of who your father and Gianna were through you and your mom. It’s an unfair task ahead of you and yet I’m sure it’s one that you will carry with great distinction and honor. It’s unfair of us to ask our children to grow up before they are ready and yet sometimes when life happens, children are capitulated into a greater purpose that mimics adulthood. Your purpose is still being revealed to you but having watched you from afar, I can imagine it will be deeply rooted in the Mamba mentality.
Mamba & Mambacita…
Our prayers for you and your sisters are that you continue to hold each other close. Love boldly and loudly not only with each other but with your mother too. As a mom, I can tell you it is inconceivable to lose a child. Your mother will need you, not to fix anything but to remind her of all the goodness that still exists around her.
We thank you all for sharing Kobe and Gianna with us. As we continue to mourn, our lives will eventually feel normal again but we are so aware and understand that yours will never be the same.
We love you. We honor you. We will continue to pray for your family and all the families that were impacted by this tragedy.
Love & Light,