"To my forever Valentine, I love you so much. Missing you so much on your favorite holiday," she wrote in the caption. "Te amo per sempre. Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo."
The post included an old photo of Kobe kissing Vanessa on the cheek, as she sat in his lap smiling. Lauryn Hill's 1998 record "Tell Him" played in the background, as key lyrics from the song were displayed at the bottom of the post.
Vanessa's message was shared less than three weeks after Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven others: Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Christina Mauser, 38; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50.
Hours before Vanessa's post, the Lakers announced a public memorial for Kobe and Gianna on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center. Tickets will be released for public sale at 10 a.m. PT on Feb. 19. Ticket proceeds will go toward the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which Kobe founded in 2018. The charitable organization was previously called the Mamba Sports Foundation; however, "Mambacita" was recently added in honor of Gianna.
"Because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation," Vanessa wrote in an Instagram post announcing the name change. "Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever – to provide opportunities to young people through sports. Thank you all for the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi’s legacy."