Vanessa Bryant admittedly had a “rough” time dropping off her eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant at school for her first day at the University of Southern California.
Kobe Bryant’s widow, 39, posted a selfie with Natalia, 18, and her two younger daughters, 4-year-old Bianka and 2-year-old Capri, wearing USC gear in support of the freshman Trojan on Wednesday.
Despite the big smiles on their faces, Vanessa noted in her Instagram caption, “Today was rough. This was before the tears came down.”
In a nod to her late husband and daughter, Gianna, the melancholy mom added, “Missing ✌🏽forever. I love you @nataliabryant BE EPIC and FIGHT ON. ❤️💛.”
Natalia responded to her mom in the comments, writing, “I love you!!!”
Many celebrities sent their well-wishes, including WWE wrestler Natalya Neidhart, who commented, “You’re amazing in every way. Amazing mom, amazing person❤️.”
Vanessa shared back in March that Natalia had been accepted into USC with a video that showed the teen jumping up and down with excitement over her acceptance letter.
“Tears of joy,” the proud mom captioned the video. “I’m SO happy for you Nani! I know daddy is so PROUD OF YOU. I am so PROUD OF YOU!! Your hard work and dedication was so worth it.”
She added, “You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded. 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“
Vanessa also shared that USC was Natalia’s “top” school. The LA-based high school grad had also gotten into Loyola Marymount and University of Oregon.
The good news for the grieving family comes just over a year after the tragic loss of Kobe, Natalia’s father, and Gianna, her sister.
The Lakers legend and 13-year-old Gianna were among nine killed in a California helicopter crash in January 2020. Kobe was 41 years old.