April 18, 2020. It’s a date that may just come and go for most of us, but for Vanessa Bryant, it’s something much bigger. Nineteen years ago, on this very day, she married Kobe Bryant — and this is the first wedding anniversary she’ll spend without her husband by her side. On Saturday, Vanessa honored her late husband on social media with two heartrending posts. The one that’ll really tug on your heartstrings? A throwback video of Kobe explaining why Vanessa was his “one.”
Since Kobe’s tragic passing in January, Vanessa has shared several heartwarming memories of her late husband on Instagram. The couple, who got hitched in 2001, met on the set of a music video in 1999. Kobe fell hard and fast for Vanessa, and by her 18th birthday, they were engaged. So, when Kobe was being interviewed by MTV News the year they wed, the reporter asked what made the NBA star so certain he wanted to spend his life with Vanessa.
“You know, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a person the one for you but you just know! I mean, love is a funny thing. I can’t explain it, and I don’t understand it. But all I know is she caught my heart, and I just knew that she was the one,” Kobe said in the throwback video shared by Vanessa in honor of their 19th anniversary. She captioned it simply, “My Love. My Heart.”
In the video, Kobe also touchingly imagined what their life together might look like. “In the future, I see us as being two cool-ass parents,” he revealed, laughing. “Young parents. Full of energy. She has a ton of energy, and I have a ton of energy.”
As fans of the couple know, Vanessa and Kobe did go on to become “cool-ass parents” to four beautiful daughters — one of whom, Gianna, also lost her life in the tragic helicopter crash that claimed Kobe’s. Today, they would have been celebrating 19 years together and the realization of Kobe’s dream back then (and so much more that they accomplished over the years).
While Vanessa is “really strong,” as Kobe underscored in the nostalgic video, today is undoubtedly a bittersweet milestone for her. To that end, she shared another anniversary post on Instagram that reflected her abiding love for her late husband and the father of her children.
“My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby,” she wrote. “I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”
Before you go, click here to see other inspiring Hollywood marriages.