Vanessa Bryant took a big step today: dropping her eldest daughter, 18-year-old Natalia Bryant, off at college.
On Wednesday, August 18, the proud mama posted a sweet family photo to Instagram showing herself dropping the model off at the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. The picture features big smiles from Vanessa and Natalia along with her younger sisters Bianka, 4, and Capri, 2.
Any parent can understand how bittersweet it is to drop your child off at school, and Bryant made those feelings clear in her caption--especially considering the loss of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna Bryant.
“Today was rough,” she wrote under the smiley photo, admitting that wasn’t her expression all day. “This was before the tears came down. Missing ✌🏽forever. I love you @nataliabryant BE EPIC and FIGHT ON. ❤️💛.”
Of course, the 39-year-old’s caption is a reference to losing her husband and their 13-year-old daughter in a January 2020 helicopter crash, which also took the lives of seven others. Along with their family mourning two of its members, hence the peace sign emoji, Gigi also wore the number 2 on her basketball jersey.
Vanessa’s close tribe of friends has proven how supportive they are over the past year and a half, doing just that as they flood her comments with messages of love and admiration.
“I can not imagine,” Olympic medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings commented. “Love to your heart. To Your oldest baby girls’ too ♥️🙏🌹.”
“You’re amazing in every way,” wrote WWE wrestler Natalya Neidhart. “Amazing mom, amazing person❤️.”
Just a few months ago, Vanessa posted footage of Natalia’s reaction after learning she had been admitted into the USC. In her caption, the mom praised the teenager’s “hard work and dedication.”
“Tears of joy. I’m SO happy for you Nani! I know daddy is so PROUD OF YOU,” she wrote back in March. “I am so PROUD OF YOU!! Your hard work and dedication was so worth it. You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded.”
Vanessa continued, “I wish Daddy and Gigi were physically here to celebrate but I know they’re here in spirit. We love you so much! #USC #Trojan #FightOn ❤️.”