Gisele Bündchen is remembering her late mother Vânia Nonnenmacher with an emotional tribute.
“Beloved mom, it hurts to know that I won’t be able to hug you anymore, but I know that you will always be watching over us. You were an angel on earth, always helping everyone around you. Thank you for being the best role model of love, strength, compassion, courage and grace,” the Brazilian model, 43, captioned a slideshow of family photos with her mom over the years via Instagram on Tuesday, January 30.
Bündchen continued, “I will forever cherish the beautiful memories we shared and will live by the values you taught me. You will live forever through the many lives that you touched. Thank you for giving me five best friends for life. Your love will always guide us. I will see you in my dreams. Love you ❤️.”
Nonnenmacher, who was a retired bank teller in Horizontina, Brazil, died from cancer on Sunday, January 28, at the Hospital Moinhos de Vento in Brazil, according to a statement per People. She was 75.
In addition to Bündchen, Nonnenmacher was the mother of five other children: Bündchen’s twin sister Patricia and sisters Rafaela, Graziela, Gabriela and Raquel.
Bündchen initially aspired to become a volleyball player, however, her career path changed after her mother enrolled her, Patricia, and Gabriela in a modeling course in 1993. Then the trio traveled to Rio de Janeiro, where Gisele was discovered by Elite Model Management at a shopping mall.
In May, Gisele paid tribute to her mother with a sweet Mother’s Day Instagram post.
“Sending you all my love and reverence, especially to my mom, my wonder woman, a warrior who raised six daughters with so much love and care. Love you, mom! ❤️,” she concluded.
In September, Gisele shared a rare photo posing with her parents and five siblings and captioned the post, “Always in my heart and prayers.”
For International Women’s Day in September 2022, Gisele also honored her mother with a photo of them with her daughter, Vivian.
“I am so grateful to all the amazing women that have crossed my path and inspired me, especially my wonder mom and my sweet daughter,” she wrote.
In 2010, three months after giving birth to her first child, son Benjamin, Bundchen wrote in her personal blog that Nonnenmacher showed her how to be a good mother.
“I grew up witnessing my mother always trying her best at doing all she could for the six of us girls. My mom devoted her entire life to her family and did it with such grace,” she commented. “She is my hero. She is the reason why I believe a woman is the core of a family … I can only hope to be for my kids what she will and always be for us … Our rock.”