World's Favorite Photo
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Quite recently, we saw a normal "a dad and a frowning teenage girl" picture going around the internet associated with memes such as "me explaining my wallet why I need this new iPhone" or "me explaining the rules of UNO to the creators of UNO." I personally loved those memes because all of them were quite a good fit for the image (or sometimes GIF animation).
The picture was of Kobe Bryant and his daughter (a middle sister for a while) Gigi, taken at the Barclay's Center.
And a few days later, the picture turned into one that's gonna be forever missed.
I was driving down the highway in the suburbs of Seattle towards the airport when I heard this tragic news on the radio. I was running a little late for my flight check-in to go home in NY but I almost stopped the car to clear my head. Wait what??? Kobe. Died. He. WAS. 41. Did I just hear it correctly???
In the next 90 minutes to the Seattle airport, a lot of stuff around Kobe popped up in my head. I remember when he started his career in LA. Him, and Shaq came from Orlando. His rap record with Tyra Banks I bought back in the day. The era after Jordan and the Dream Team. His 3-point shots. His birthday which is the same as mine. His name after a Japanese word. Dave Chappelle throwing trash shouting "Kobe!" etc. etc. Yet, I was still driving at 80m/h and emotionally I just couldn't wait til I get on my phone once I return the car at the airport. I was wishing to confirm Kobe being dead was an early April fool's joke.
Then hard cold truth that struck me there was that he was with his daughter in the picture I loved a few weeks ago, also in the fatal accident.
I tried so hard not to appear too awkward at the airport. If I didn't force myself, the tears would have come running out my eyes more than I could hide. Good thing is, I arrived at the airport right before they closed the gate so I didn't have to stop and think too much. Yet.
What happened was, we got on board, they closed the door but it didn't take off for over 30 minutes. We then got notified that the airplane has an issue with its engine and we had to get off the plane until further notice.
Not knowing when I can go home, apparently it became my Kobe time. I only know Gigi with her dad by the way. Never known her alone but I had a sense that even her bold father figure would not hinder Her boldness. But still, she was only 13. I don't know how they were found but I terribly hope that she was in her dad's arms at her last moment.
Given that, why did they had to check the engine of our plane at the last minute before flying? But hey, I’m glad it didn’t fly with any damages equipped in the system. Ok, got it. I believe it's Kobe that didn’t want us to come close to them yet and avoided our flight to fly. I know I may sound crazy but me and Kobe share the same birthday and we’re virgos so I know. Lol.
My flight then departed late by 5 hours. Long flight home but no madness there was all the way.
I saw my city from the sky - almost home at 4am. It’s literally the God and Kobe saying “better late than never”. I am blessed to be home regardless.
Got home finally at 5am and let my tears go freely. Kobe and Gigi's death is just too harsh for most people to recognize in reality. I still don't know how to take it myself. Kobe was just about to start his new career. Life is not fair, I know, but I'm not just used to it. All I can do is to live my life like tomorrow is never promised. We all had to learn the hard way this time. Kobe has once said, "I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses." I don't blame others for me being unachieved, but I see that I don't have time to be lazy anymore. Life can be too short for that.
I am indeed sorry for Bryant family's losses and my condolences to Kobe, Gigi and other passengers including the pilot. They are in God's hands.
Gone too soon. My heart still aches. I will keep shouting "Kobe" when I throw something. R.I.P. Mamba and Mambacita. Again, the courtside picture will be forever my favorite. :)