Vanessa Bryant celebrated her late daughter Gianna's birthday over the weekend by posting a message to her via Instagram and asking fans to wear red, which was Gianna's favorite color. Vanessa also received gifts from her friends, including a cake from Pau Gasol and his wife Catherine McDonnell. Gasol was a teammate of Vanessa's late husband Kobe Bryant, and Vanessa posted a photo of the cake in her Instagram story.
The top of the cake read "Happy Birthday Gigi." The color of the cake was white and gold, which was covered with multi-colored butterfly decorations, according to PEOPLE. At the bottom, there was a banner that had Gianna's "Mambacitia" nickname. "Thank you @paugasol @catmcdonnel7," Vanessa wrote alongside the photo. Gianna and Kobe died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with seven other people. Gianna would have been 14 on Friday.
"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Vanessa wrote in her Instagram post to Gianna. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. 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!!!!!!!" In another Instagram post, Vanessa shared a photo of her wearing a red bracelet, that had Gianna's name on it.
"Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures," she wrote on Instagram. "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. Please use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay. Thank you. 5-1-06 Mambacita."
Gasol was Kobe's teammate from 2008 to 2014, and the duo helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA championships during that span. Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016, and Vanessa celebrated the anniversary of Bryant's retirement with an emotional message to him and Gianna on Instagram.
"We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling author and coached Gianna's basketball team in that time," Vanessa continued. "She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy. I wish I could back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn't fair. This is just senseless."