They may no longer be here physically, but Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant's memories live on with Vanessa Bryant.
During Monday's public memorial at the Staples Center, Vanessa earned a standing ovation as she stepped up to the podium to deliver a beautiful and emotional speech honoring her late husband and 13-year-old daughter.
"First I'd like to thank everyone for coming today," she began her moving eulogy. "The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting. Thank you so much for all your prayers. I'd like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi. I'll start with my baby girl Gianna Bryant, an amazingly sweet and gentle soul."
On Gianna as a person: "Her smile was like sunshine"
"She was always thoughtful," Vanessa continued. "She always kissed me good night and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I'd text and say, 'No kiss?' and Gianna would reply, 'Mama, you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you.' She knew how much her kiss meant to me and kissed me every day."
Gigi was, as Vanessa said, her best friend. Together, they baked cakes and chocolate chip cookies. They watched cooking shows, Cupcake Wars, Survivor and the NBA games with her dad. With her sisters, she loved spending days taking in Disney movies. "Gigi was very competitive like her daddy, but Gianna had a sweet grace about her," Vanessa said. "Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire, my personality, and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the she had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine."