Read the Touching Note Vanessa Bryant Shared From Gianna's Best Friend on the Anniversary of Her Death
"On behalf of every person who came across her, I can say that [Gianna] changed our lives."
Today, January 26th, is the first anniversary of the helicopter accident that ended the lives of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The tragedy was a harbinger of more sadness to come in the year ahead, but even so, Vanessa Bryant, wife to Kobe and mother to Gianna, still realizes she has so much to be thankful for. Bryant shared a letter written to her by Gianna's best friend Aubrey Callaghan—and it's a reminder that she and Kobe raised an incredible daughter who left an impression in so many peoples' lives.
"Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna's best friends, Aubrey. I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig," Bryant wrote in the caption of her January 25th post.
"I am thinking and praying for you constantly," Aubrey begins her letter. "My mind constantly thinks of your beautiful daughter. Her smile and attitude push me to be better. You have probably heard this, but if I ever become a mom, I hope my daughter turns out exactly as yours did."
"She was kind, caring, and endlessly polite," Aubrey continued. "She attacked each day as it was hers to conquer. She would smile and bring the rest of us up with her."
"There are times I get into a pit of despair thinking about her and what she could've accomplished had she had a couple more years. But recently I have been thinking about the mark she did leave on this earth," Aubrey wrote, mentioning her advocacy for equality within the sports world. "On behalf of every person who came across her, I can say that she changed our lives. Her simple actions made all of us a better person, and I believe that the results of this will never stop appearing."
"I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was," Aubrey concluded. "You did it right Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you."
Bryant continued in the caption of the letter, "My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could've happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn't seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"
Though we cannot imagine how difficult it must be for Bryant to go about her day to day in this new normal, this slice of thankfulness from Gianna's best friend is something she can smile about every day.