A tear-jerker of a Humans of New York post has gone viral, sharing the story of a dying mother’s last words of wisdom.
She walked gracefully toward death
When doctors checked on Karen, they “found nothing but cancer,” begins a post from the highly popular social media account Humans of New York. “But even then she didn’t give up.”
Karen was dying of cancer, but she maintained her spirits and walked “beautifully toward death.”
“I never once saw her depressed,” explains her daughter, Kailey, who was in high school when her mother died. “There were sad moments, but even those were peaceful. And sometimes she’d laugh so hard it would physically hurt.”
“Every day she told me I was beautiful,” Kailey continued. “She’d said it before, but not like this. It was so intentional.”
Videos for every milestone
Karen regretted not being able to see her children’s biggest milestones, so, she did something extraordinary.
“She recorded videos for the big moments in our lives: graduation, our 21st birthday, our wedding, our first child,” Kailey explains. “Over the years those videos became so precious to me.”
The videos are just a few minutes each and start with what the milestone is and how she regrets not being there. Then, she’ll give personalized advice.
“She’ll say: ‘I know you struggle with X, Y, and Z, so always remember this.’”
One final video
After getting married two years ago, Kailey knew just one video remained. “And it’s always given me comfort– knowing it was there,” Kailey said. “So it was bittersweet when my daughter was born on June 27th.”
After the birth of their first child, Kailey and her husband watched Karen’s final video together, and it was harder to watch than expected.
“She was sicker than the other videos,” Kailed said. “She spoke really slowly. She talked about how I’d always loved babies, even as a child. And she said that she wished she could be there to cuddle my baby.”
Karen talked about Kailey’s childhood, her struggles and her bright spots. Then, “she ended by saying: ‘Love and encourage your babies. They will grow up quickly. So hug them. And pray for them.’ And that was it.”
For the last time, Karen told her daughter that she loved her and said one final goodbye. “For years I’d been dreading that moment,” Kailey says. “But it felt strangely peaceful. Like I was ready. Ready to take up this role.”
Karen passed the torch to Kailey, who now has the responsibility to share love — and wisdom — with her own daughter.
“It’s my turn to have a daughter now. To love her. And to be purposeful with her, just like my mom was purposeful with me.”
Tell your loved ones how much you care
Life doesn’t always work out as we planned. We lose moments and people we wish we could have back. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of every second and tell the people that we love how much we appreciate and cherish them. You never know how many more times you’ll be able to tell them you love them.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians has been part the fabric of pop culture for years. Now, as it finally wraps up, Kim Kardashian West and her family are showing that they owe a lot of their success to their crew by gifting them Rolex watches as the show wrapped.
These watches, which go for around $10,000 each, were gifted to each of the 30 crew members, according to TMZ.
The end of an era
“Officially sobbing. Grateful for every single second,” shared Kardashian in a behind-the-scenes video on Instagram, saying it felt “crazy” that this epic show was ending.
The video continued:
“We just finished filming forever, like ever, ever. We’re done, we’re never filming again – isn’t that so crazy?! So we’re having a drink with the crew in my backyard, hanging out. Cheers to – I don’t know. 15 years; 20 seasons of craziness and lots of love.”
The end of the series was celebrated in a socially distanced way due to the COVID pandemic, at an outdoor garden party for the cast and crew. Of course, the champagne was still flowing.
This milestone comes in the midst of brewing divorce rumors about Kardashian and her husband Kanye West, who have reportedly been living apart for months.
Appreciate those around you
The Kardashian family has faced a lot of criticism over the years, but they have a reputation for being generous and professional, even during times of personal hardship and public scrutiny.
The family understands that success and fame are fleeting. Their longevity is due to the support of hundreds of cast, crew and supporting team members, and the family always makes sure those people feel appreciated.
After being with E! for 20 seasons, the Kardashians are moving over to Hulu – so who knows what to expect next.
Sometimes our best-laid plans are not meant to be. John had been in a long-term relationship. He had even bought a house with his partner for 15 years.
When the relationship suddenly ended, he found himself starting over at 40.
John did his best to maintain life as he was accustomed, from his job at an insurance company to spending time with loved ones, but still, he couldn’t help feeling like something was missing.
The missing piece of the puzzle
Six years later, he realized what that something was when watching TV and seeing a program about adopting children.
It sparked his interest. John reflected on the fact he had always wanted to be a dad. But when it didn’t happen naturally, he just continued on with his single lifestyle.
But then he realized the time was now.
“I’m 46 now. If I want to be a dad it’s now or never.”
But, as a single father, it wouldn’t be an easy journey. It was one he was ready to get started on though.
A long and arduous process
He started an intensive training course in preparation for being an adoptive father, and decided to get some experience as a volunteer mentor for a teenager.
“Every fortnight or three weeks I had a meeting with my social worker who went through lots of scenarios with me: ‘What would you do if this happened? What would you do if that happened?’,” John recalled.
And that included his whole extended family getting involved. “He met my ex-partner and my other family members to find out more about me and see if it was a solid environment I could provide.”
Finally, after a three-year process, John was approved to be an adoptive father. He was then able to start looking for his future child.
He met with his social worker, who laid out photos of boys on the table and asked if any sparked interest.
“Immediately one stood out to me — he is now my son.”
Finding his son
John says the feeling was instant, almost like “when you’re looking for a house and you walk into a house, and you get the feeling that this is the house you want.”
“It’s not a great comparison but that’s the nearest I can get to it,” he said.
The photo was of a six-year-old boy named Chris (names have been changed), who had been in foster care for 18 months because of concerns he was not taken care of in his
“Ten days later he had moved in with me. And that was it,” John said.
While it was a bit of an adjustment to go from only caring for himself to being responsible for another person, it was a process well worth it.
But there were some growing pains, like on the second night, when Chris said he wasn’t happy and wanted to go back.
“My heart sank, I was like ‘what do I do, what do I do?’”
He called the social worker, but by the next morning, the social worker said it was a normal reaction, and that things would be fine.
A new lease on life
Nine years later, Chris is now a teenager and he and John have a wonderful relationship.
John is happy because he’s finally a dad, and Chris has a better life with more opportunity than he would have had staying in the foster care system.
“It’s given me a purpose really, I suppose,” said John, who said as a dad, he just wants his ’son to “be the best he can be,” and that means raising him to be a good person.
“He’d probably say I’m a good dad, apart from banning him from his Xbox and making him do his school work!” said John.
Sometimes all the hardships and hurdles we have in life are worth it — to get us to that right person and right moment in time.
For John and Chris, the timing was perfect for them to find each other and change each other’s life forever.
Filmed in Hawaii, Peter Segal’s 2004 rom-com hit 50 First Dates tells the story of Henry (played by Adam Sandler), who falls for amnesia-stricken Lucy (played by Drew Barrymore). Henry vows to win over her love anew every day.
Thousands of miles away in Spalding, Lincolnshire, lives the real-life couple — a wife who won’t give up and a husband whose patience and love have no limits.
I don’t know who you are, Henry… but I dream about you almost every night. Why?
Lucy to Harry in ’50 First Dates’
In the movie, we discover that Barrymore’s character, Lucy Whitmore, lost her memory from a recent car accident.
She wakes up every morning having forgotten anything about the day before. That includes her affection for Henry, a vacationing veterinarian who’s smitten with her.
Like Lucy, Michelle Philpots’ memory was also affected due to a vehicle accident. Doctors ultimately diagnosed her with anterograde amnesia.
It’s defined as “a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.”
For Michelle, that means waking up every day thinking it’s 1994, when Ace of Base sat atop the music charts and ‘Forest Gump’ was the year’s blockbuster film.
I wanted to be back to the normal me and not this shell of a person. I want my career back. I want to be able to say, ‘I remember when’ again — but knowing [that’s] the life you’ve lost, you can’t do it.
– Michelle Philpots on TODAY
Michelle uses hundreds of Post-It notes and keeps reminders on her phone’s calendar to avoid forgetting the small tasks most of us take for granted. She also has to log every interaction for future reference.
Even more troubling is that although Michelle met her husband Ian in 1985, they only got married in 1997. Meaning every day she wakes up with no recollection of their wedding day.
Her leading man
In the movie, Henry courts Lucy every day as if it was their first time together. His surprise “Good morning Lucy” tape reminds her of their wedding day.
And just like Sandler’s character, Ian is determined to make his wife fall in love with him every day. Each morning, he shows her pictures of their wedding day, sharing those moments to jog her memory and bring a smile to her face.
Can I have one last first kiss?
– Lucy, ’50 First Dates’
Although it can be trying at times, Ian never gets daunted, determined to rekindle their memories as a couple.
It can be very frustrating for me but I have to be patient and understand. I have to keep calm because I love her
– Ian Philpots to Daily Mail
Love is worth fighting for
Michelle works constantly to try to improve her condition. She can now recall up to six numbers by punching them into a telephone keypad.
Although it has been a struggle, her husband Ian has been by her side, recreating the moments that her accident has erased.
When Ian looks at Michelle, he sees the woman he loves. Just like Adam Sandler’s character, he’ll do anything to make sure that Michelle reconnects with the man she married.
Most aspiring adoptive parents dream of bringing a bright-eyed baby home, someone they can nurture from infancy.
Unfortunately, older kids like Sony, a teenager from India – who also had physical and emotional scars – get overlooked. One family dared to look past that and met an incredible girl. Their story reminds us of the gift of ignoring appearances.
Indian families usually only want to adopt newborn children who are completely ‘perfect’ according to them
CARA CE0 Deepak Kumar
A difficult upbringing
Life was rough in India for 14-year-old Sony. Abandoned by her family, born with a birth defect and having suffered through years of physical abuse, she had facial differences and brain damage.
At school, teachers would force her to cover her face, saying that it scared the other children. “It made me feel sad”, she told KHOU.
Her older age made finding a family difficult. Couples dream of taking home a bright-eyed baby who they can nurture. Older kids are seen as undesirable, having too much “baggage.”
Isolated and packed in a home with 28 other foster children, Sony seemed to have nothing to look forward to as her 15th birthday neared.
Hope across the globe
While Sony was praying for a family, thousands of miles away, Shannon Regan and fiancé Jay Marsh of Anne Arundel County, Maryland were growing theirs.
They had recently adopted 11-year-old Chelsea from China. During Chelsea’s adoption process, Shannon came across Sony and wanted to adopt her too.
Working closely with Reece’s Rainbow, a group that provides support for families adopting children with special needs, they fought to bring her over.
Race against a pandemic
The couple was fully prepared for the red tape and delays. What they couldn’t anticipate was a global pandemic. With the coronavirus spreading, Shannon needed to hurry to India to complete the process.
There has been a lot of trust on her part that there is a world out there here, we just need to get out there safely
Shannon Regan to ABC
Thankfully, she made it in time. They brought Sony over before the COVID-19 lockdowns started, just days before her 15th birthday on June 3rd. Shannon counts her blessings.
“If I hadn’t gone over there and got the final approval to bring her home, she definitely would still not be home”, she told ABC.
The gift of a home
Shannon truly realized her fortune when Sony returned to Maryland. In fact, she says both of her adoptive daughters have completely enriched her life and changed her for the better.
Having parents has helped me know that I’m important, loved, I have a new life. I can be my best and I am safe.
Sony Regan to ABC
No longer having to cover up, Sony is happy to finally be part of a family. She is now on a mission to help other children receive the gift of adoption. In a two-page letter she wrote encouraging adoption, Sony explains why a child is never too old.
“I know people are scared to adopt older children because they think that child might hurt the parents or family or child or won’t love them and won’t fit in. Actually, I know the adopted child can make your family life better. Adopted children do love their family even when it feels hard at first.”
I think adoption is love. I prayed for a family for a long time.
Many saw in Sony someone too disfigured to look at, too old to change, too hurt to love.
The Regans instead saw a beautiful girl with a big heart who only needed a chance. Finally given an opportunity, she can show the world the amazing person she is.
Shannon Regan encourages parents to pursue adoption with both their “head and heart.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we brought that approach to all of our pursuits?
Finding love has been hard in 2020, with a global pandemic and many people never leaving their houses and all – but then again, when hasn’t finding a match been kind of difficult?
Ryan Reynolds’ new Match commercial touches on just this issue – and shows how, when it’s meant to be, love will indeed find a way.
It also subtly highlights a critical mistake many single people make when looking for the one. (Yes, this especially applies when online dating during a pandemic).
Ryan Reynolds stars in Match.com ad
The commercial follows a woman named 2-0-2-0 (get it?) who finds herself matching with a guy who goes by the name of Satan.
Satan is true to folklore, red and mean-looking with big horns, presiding over hell (nothing at all like the fetching Lucifer character on Netflix), but that doesn’t stop him from wanting love. He matches with 2-0-2-0 and discovers it’s a mutual match.
“The feelings are mutual, so what are you waiting for?” his app reads.
The devil himself was able to find someone
The first date goes like many others. They meet under a bridge, introduce themselves and stroll off. The video continues with a montage of dates they have throughout the year, enjoying empty theaters and football stadiums as they lead the rest of the world towards a shutdown.
Of course, their dates are against the backdrop of the world around them being a mess, from stealing toilet paper to watching movies in an empty theater, but they are still in their idea of a perfect love story.
Looking for love? Avoid this critical mistake and focus on this
While this video is undeniably funny – it’s also exhibitive of a really important truth that all of us should remember in our own dating lives.
If you think there is nobody out there for you, or if you think that because we’re in the middle of a pandemic there is no chance, you are sabotaging your own chances of finding someone from the get-go.
Love is out there, and the perfect person for you is out there (cause if Satan himself can find love in this ad, you sure can despite your perceived shortcomings and imperfections) if you are willing to believe it.
If you want love, don’t make excuses, and don’t deny yourself the chance to find it. You deserve that opportunity.
The important takeaway from this funny video is not that Satan and 2020 are one in the same (though that is debatable), but that no matter what your life circumstances are, you should never stop believing in yourself and in the possibility of meeting someone.
Anyone who has lost a pet knows how hard it can be, so it’s easy to understand why when David MacNeil’s 7-year-old golden retriever, Scout, was given a month to live, he refused to accept it.
Scout collapsed suddenly in the summer of 2019. MacNeil rushed his beloved dog to the vet, where a tumor was found growing on Scout’s heart. After diagnosing Scout with an aggressive form of cancer, a veterinarian told MacNeil his dog had just one month to live, according to NBC Madison, Wisconsin affiliate WMTV.
There he was in this little room, standing in the corner… and he’s wagging his tail at me. I’m like, ‘I’m not putting that dog down. There’s just absolutely no way.
David MacNeil to WMTV
He refused to give up on his dog
Local vets told MacNeil there was no hope for Scout, but MacNeil refused to accept that fate for his furry friend.
Seeking help elsewhere, MacNeil took Scout, who is also his company WeatherTech’s unofficial mascot, to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.
The vets there agreed that the dog had just a 1% chance of survival, but were determined to treat Scout anyway. They administered aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.
Throughout it all, vets say that Scout maintained his sweet, calm temperament, making them even more determined to restore Scout’s quality of life.
After just a month of treatment, they discovered that Scout’s tumor has shrunk by 78%– and today, it’s been nearly eradicated!
He found a way to give back
MacNeil was so grateful to the vets who saved his best friend that he decided to take out a $6 million ad during the Super Bowl to promote the resources that kept Scout alive. The 30-second spot, called “Lucky Dog,” opens with Scout running on the beach and tells the story of his survival.
The ad then advises people on how to donate to the veterinary school’s research program, helping the vets keep even more pets alive.
The research could save humans too
The dean of the school told WMTV that the ad will help all veterinary medicine and also cancer research that can also benefit humans.
“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” said university dean Mark Markel.
He explained that the donations can also benefit cancer research that will benefit humans.
Research into animal cancers can teach doctors about human cancers too. “So much of what’s known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine.”
For his part, MacNeil is so grateful to have Scout safe and sound that he wants to help others in turn:
“I hope it has a positive impact on cancer for animals and people, all over the world.”
Scout and MacNeil’s story reminds us that when we refuse to give up on hope and follow up through to the end, the results can help not just our nearest and dearest, but have a ripple affect throughout the world as well.
It’s the time of year where all of us are focusing on finding the right gift for someone special, as Valentine’s Day approaches. Naturally, we want the gift to be special but how can we avoid falling into the trap of cliches and uninspired presents.
A special gift usually indicates to the receiver that some thought has been put into it, that there is a connection between the two. It tells the person how well you know them, and in doing so, also defines your relationship.
But how can we make a gift even more special and truly understand the needs and wants of our partner?
What are the 5 Love Languages?
It all comes down to knowing your partner’s love language. There are 5 lof them–Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Gifts– and they each serve as a blueprint for emotional intimacy between you and your partner.
“Knowing which “language” you speak, which actions you interpret as love, is essential to navigating and maintaining security in your relationship,” said Caitlin Killoren, a relationship coach at Relish.
First put forward by author Gary Chapman in his 1992 book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, the five love languages was developed from his years as a marriage counsellor. Chapman kept recognizing a recurring pattern between spouses:
“One spouse would say something like, ‘I feel like he doesn’t love me. The other would protest, ‘I don’t know what else to do! I’m doing everything I should be doing.’”
When he asked the couples what each spouse could do to improve the relationship, Chapman determined that the answers fell into five different categories, now known as the love languages.
Consequently, you can also end up “spinning your wheels” trying to let someone know how you feel through a way that doesn’t resonate with them. Furthermore, knowing how someone feels loved is the key to good gift-giving!
If you know your partner is especially happy when spending quality time with you, then spending large amounts money on a gift won’t be as meaningful as aN afternoon at the beach or a picnic in the park would.
Many of us have one dominant and recognizable love language. Most people fall under the “Words of Affirmation” category.However, we can also have secondary languages as well. It is possible to learn your love language by taking the various quizzes on The Five Love Languages website.
1. Acts of Service
Individuals who fall under this category better respond to acts of service from their partner. Therefore, figuring out their needs and what they need help in is the best way to go. On the other hand, as Oprah Magazine outlines, “ambivalence or a lack of support are more damaging than anything else.”
What would be helpful to your partner? Do they need their car cleaned? Do they need a night off from cooking? What area of their life is the most chaotic and busy? You can usually find a good gift assisting in that place.
“On Valentine’s Day, wake up early. Make coffee and bring it to your partner in bed. Fold a load of laundry. Pick up the living room. Scramble some eggs, make them a smoothie. Save your money on the expensive reservations – all your partner wants is for you to demonstrate to them how much they mean to you,” said Killoren.
2. Words of Affirmation
While everyone enjoys a good word, some of us need more affirmation than others. Partners who respond to words of affirmation would appreciate being told, more or less explicitly, that they are valued or appreciated. People who favor words of affirmation will be particularly affected by insults.
How often do you tell your husband you love and appreciate him? When was the last time you told your wife you liked her outfit or that she looked nice?
For those who need words of affirmation, their absence can lead to feelings of resentment. While you may be thinking or feeling good thoughts about your spouse, try verbalizing them and see the power of your words.
Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, licensed clinical professional counselor
Write your partner a love letter in lieu of a gift on Valentine’s Day, or make sure to attach one with your gift.
“Leave it somewhere they’ll find: their coat pocket or the driver’s seat of their car,” said Killoren. “Tell them what you remember about the beginning of your relationship, about how much you both have grown since you’ve been a couple. Tell them how much you love them and what you admire about them.”
The more detailed, the better. While a more substantial gift can definitely please your partner, having an expression of your love and appreciation attached to it would definitely render it truly special.
3. Physical Touch
Most relationships involve physical touch, whether platonic or not. Of course, a spouse who favors and needs physical touch, is going to want as much intimacy as possible.
Helping to fulfill his/her need for physical touch can also include non-sexual touches which may ease the pressure off you if you are not as sexual of a person.
The most romantic thing you could give your partner on Valentine’s Day would be a morning cuddle, first thing when you wake up. Alternatively, a massage will be well received for those who respond to physical touch.
You can convey your affection through your fingertips, and nothing else, no matter how expensive or thoughtful, will matter to your partner.
While the “Acts of Service” category is all about anticipating your partner’s needs, this one is more about appreciating them through giving them gifts. These are not something that they need, but more of a special thought on your part.
Additionally, while most people understand gifts as physical items, they don’t necessarily have to be. Indeed, they can be “tangible and intangible items that make you feel appreciated or noticed,” such as “your partner’s concert.”
Gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money, unless you want them too of course. Get your partner’s car washed, pick up their favorite pastries, buy them tickets to see their favorite band.
“They’ll appreciate because they feel loved when they receive gifts, but also because research suggests we prefer gifts that are unexpected,” said Killoren.
5. Quality Time
People who favor quality time would prefer “engaging in an activity together, particularly one you both enjoy, like a walk after dinner” or something else that would involve time spent together.
A good gift for someone with this love language…tickets to an event! Perhaps a concert, or show where you spend time together but are also enjoying something extra special.
Glamping is another great gift for someone whose love language is quality time. There is nothing more meaningful and romantic than whisking your partner away on a getaway in nature to spend incredible quality time together. From enjoying excursions to spa services, there is a glamping site perfect for every couple who just wants to spend uninterrupted time together.
You can do anything you want on Valentine’s Day – all that matters to your partner is that you do it together. “
“If you go out to dinner, linger after your decaf coffees and just talk until the waiter asks you to leave. Go see a classic movie and discuss it afterwards. Visit an art gallery, or stay in,” said Killoren.
As long as you’re together, they’re happy.
Beyond Valentine’s Day
Figuring out our own love language should be a priority for us all. After all, once we understand what we desire and respond to, it enables us to set the standards of our relationships with others. It can also help us in making them understand how to navigate a relationship with us. Therefore, this could prevent conflicts from arising.
While it may take some introspection and some time to figure out, it will eventually be beneficial to your current and future relationships with romantic partners but also with friends and family members.
Kobe Bryant died a sudden and shocking death this weekend this weekend, which shook the whole world. Nicknamed “Black Mamba,” the legendary basketball player was loved by many and was a source of inspiration to fans of the sport and others alike.
The helicopter that crashed was unfortunately also carrying his daughter, Gianna Bryant, whose life was also lost in the tragic accident. The crash also took the lives of seven other passengers, including the pilot. Among those, was baseball coach, John Altobelli with his wife and daughter Alyssa.
Gianna and Alyssa were good friends and played basketball together. They were all on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif, where Bryant coached basketball to kids.
Kobe’s relationship with Gianna renders their tragic and untimely death especially poignant. We were all aware of how much he loved her and how they bonded over basketball.
How Gianna Bryant was going to be Kobe’s legacy
Basketball was a passion and a talent Kobe Bryant had passed on to Gianna though Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016. After a legendary career that spanned two decades, he stayed on the court, now coaching his daughters.
Gianna was the second oldest of Kobe’s children and like her father, she shared a the same passion for the sport. On social media, the basketball legend shared many moments of his daughter’s basketball journey, always with pride.
Additionally, Bryant had brought her to basketball games, as the internet famous video below shows, and used them as learning moments.
But for Kobe, his daughter’s passion for basketball was even more symbolic. He and his wife Vanessa Bryant, had 4 daughters before Gianna’s death and no son but that did not stop him from seeing the latter as his basketball heiress.
The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy.
Rather than accepting the circumstances, or wishing he had had a boy instead, Kobe proudly embraced Gianna as the leader of his legacy. In doing so, he also learned to see basketball differently and work towards a more inclusive culture.
He went from player to spectator…
Kobe retired in 2016, which afforded him a lot of time to focus on his family and other post-retirement projects. Being able to be present for his daughters’ and to coach them also changed his perception on basketball.
“You know what’s funny,” Bryant said on the “All the Smoke” podcast to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Jan. 9. “Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night.”
Gianna’s love for the sport enabled her father to see it from another perspective, to be able to enjoy it outside the context that he had been used to during the length of his career.
We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes.
“It wasn’t me sitting there as an athlete or a player or something like that, and it’s about me, and I don’t like that,” he finished. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”
But Bryant was being more than a devoted dad in those moments. Seeing his daughter as his legacy, the future of a family basketball dynasty, he wanted to nurture that talent so she could carry on what he started.
…and then, went from spectator to coach
As part of his projects, he decided to take the time to coach his daughter’s basketball team. The experience was more than an opportunity to bond with his daughter.
We’ve been working together for a year and a half and they’ve improved tremendously in that time. I’ve got a group of great parents, a group of really, really intelligent, hardworking girls, and — they’re all seventh graders, they’re all 12 years old — but they’ve been playing so well.
He continued, highlighting what it was like to coach not only the middle school team but his daughter as well. “Gianna’s pretty easy to coach. We haven’t had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing,” he said. Much like her father, she was “very competitive” and “a hard worker.”
It is no wonder that Gianna had inherited her father’s talent, which made it easier for him to coach her. However, his daughter’s love for the sport was also eye-opening and made him realize the importance of being inclusive when it comes to women in the world of basketball.
It was not specifically his daughter he saw as the future of basketball, but women in general. Kobe’s legacy is vast but part of it is rooted in his advocacy for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
What Kobe meant for women in basketball
In an interview with CNN, Kobe expressed his opinions on the division between men and women in the world of the NBA.
I think there are a couple of players who could play in the NBA right now honestly. There’s a lot of players with a lot of skill that could do it.
Bryant went on to name three WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) stars who he believes could make the jump into the men’s league. “Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Elena Della Donne. There’s a lot of great players out there so they could certainly keep up with them,” he said.
While there are still a lot of steps before this could even become a possibility, the voice and endorsement of a legend like Kobe has been invaluable to female basketball players. There is a general tendency to disregard or undermine female athletes, and always compare them to the more mainstream, male counterparts of their sports.
By breaching that space between the two leagues, Kobe made sure that female basketball players were heard and given their due recognition.
It is no wonder that female basketball players were particularly shocked by the recent events. Female basketball coach of the Oregon Ducks, Sabrina Ionescu “was particularly struck by the news.” As reported by The Oregonian, “Bryant had become a mentor to her and she became especially close to the family.” Kobe’s daughter Gianna dreamt of playing for her team one day.
While nothing can ever bring back the lives that were lost in the accident, it is possible for us to not forget the legacy that Kobe and Gianna had been working on for female athletes, but also for women in general. They will always be remembered for their close relationship, but also their efforts to promote equality in sports.