Gianna Bryant’s Friend Sent a Touching Letter to Vanessa Bryant on Anniversary of Crash
Losing a child is any parent's worst nightmare, especially when it happens in the excruciatingly tragic way that happened to Vanessa Bryant. The mother of four lost both her second oldest daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, and her husband, the great basketball player Kobe Bryant, in the helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in which nine people were killed. In the year after the terrible accident, Bryant worked to keep her husband and daughter's legacy alive by continuing to build on the great works the NBA champion had already begun.
Bryant isn't the only one to look back on everything the inseparable couple accomplished as the anniversary of their deaths neared this week. Gigi's childhood friend Aubrey "Aubz" Callaghan recently sent Bryant a letter detailing how her daughter's memory lives on. And in these memories we see a testimony of what an amazing mother Vanessa Bryant always was. Grab your handkerchiefs because you will need them.
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“My mind is constantly thinking about your beautiful daughter,” the letter begins. "You probably heard that, but if I ever become a mother, I hope my daughter will be just like yours."
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We are already crying over perhaps the greatest compliment you can give a mother. Callaghan's letter then details how “kind, caring, and infinitely polite” her friend was, and mentions a particular memory of her from elementary school.
"I remember having lunch with her in second grade when she taught us not to eat while we were talking," she says. "But this was not a snotty teaching, it did not correct us, it helped us to be better versions of ourselves."
When reading these words, what mother does not immediately remember sitting at the table with her own children while meticulously trying to teach them table manners? And knowing that these lessons followed your child into the world (and that they were kind and polite) - isn't that just the kind of parenting we all strive for?
From the words Callaghan shared about her lost friend, it is clear that she looked up to her and respected her. "Gianna was fiery and stubborn, she knew what she wanted and she struggled to get it," she says.
She also speaks fondly about their relationship on the basketball court. "Our heads-up fights would be very intense," she wrote. "I was usually a horse and I was exhausted after every game." She attributes these losses to both Gigi's abilities and the fact that the love for the game was in her blood. Although Gianna hit her handily, Callaghan doesn't talk about their joy, she talks about the fun they had.
When Bryant wakes up this morning on the year-long anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash that changed the life course of her family forever, as well as the families of the other victims of the crash, we hope the mother of four will be comforted by the way how her daughter's memory lives on in others.
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