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Sting’s Daughter Saw A Viral “Humans Of NY” Post And Granted A Fan’s Dying Wish

mickey sumner sting portrait

Sting’s daughter, Mickey Sumner, heard an anonymous woman’s moving story about the recent loss of her own father and helped make her dad’s dying wish come true.

The unnamed woman’s story was posted to the Humans of New York Instagram account earlier this week.

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“I was five when he became a person in my world. I didn’t know exactly who he was. I just knew that there was someone around that was making my mother smile. I had to look way up to see him. I’d never met someone so strong. He’d tell me to hold onto his wrist, and he’d lift me into the sky with one hand. He worked at an auto shop, airbrushing designs onto the side of vans. I think he dreamed of being an artist. But he needed something more stable. So after he decided to marry my mom, he became a cop. He never lost touch with his creative side. He was always building things around the house—making things look fancier than we could afford. He built my first bike from scraps. He encouraged me to read. He encouraged me to write. He loved giving me little assignments. He’d give me a quarter every time I wrote a story. Fifty cents if it was a good one. Whenever I asked a question, he’d make me look it up in the encyclopedia. One day he built a little art studio at the back of our house. And he painted a single painting—a portrait of Sting that he copied from an album cover. But he got busy with work and never used the studio again. He was always saying: ‘when I retire.’ ‘I’ll go back to art, when I retire.’ ‘I’ll show in a gallery, when I retire.’ But that time never came. Dad was a cop for twenty years. He was one of the good ones. The kind of cop you see dancing on the street corner. Or skateboarding with kids. But in 1998 he was diagnosed with MS. First there was a little weakness. Then there was a cane. Then there was a wheelchair. It got to the point where he couldn’t even hold a paintbrush. We did his hospice at home. He seemed to have no regrets. He’d been a wonderful provider. He’d raised his daughters. He’d walked me down the aisle. During his final days, we were going through his possessions, one by one. He was telling me who to give them to. I pulled the Sting painting out of an old box, and asked: ‘What should I do with this?’ His response was immediate. ‘Give it to Sting,’ he said. All of us started laughing. But Dad grew very serious. His eyes narrowed. He looked right at me, and said: ‘Give it to Sting.’ So I guess that’s my final assignment.”

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

“I was five when he became a person in my world. I didn’t know exactly who he was. I just knew that there was someone around that was making my mother smile,” she began.

via Instagram/ @humansofny

“He worked at an auto shop, airbrushing designs onto the side of vans. I think he dreamed of being an artist. But he needed something more stable. So after he decided to marry my mom, he became a cop.”

via Instagram/ @humansofny

She goes on to explain that her father never lost touch with his creative side. He encouraged his daughter to read and gave her “little assignments,” 25 cents for a story, 50 cents for a good story. When she asked questions, he nurtured her curiosity by showing her how to use an encyclopedia.

via Instagram/ @humansofny

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via Instagram/ @humansofny

via Instagram/ @humansofny

Her dad used his hobby as a carpenter add to the beauty and comfort of their home and eventually built himself an art studio behind the family’s house.

“And he painted a single painting—a portrait of Sting that he copied from an album cover. But he got busy with work and never used the studio again,” the woman’s story continues.

via Instagram/ @humansofny

“He was always saying: ‘when I retire.’ ‘I’ll go back to art, when I retire.’ ‘I’ll show in a gallery, when I retire.’ But that time never came,” she says.

Her dad was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and his health began to decline. When he went into home hospice, his daughter recalls him saying he had “no regrets” about the life he’d lived.

via Instagram/ @humansofny

She recalls going through his possessions with her dad, near the end.

“He was telling me who to give them to,” she says, “I pulled the Sting painting out of an old box, and asked: ‘What should I do with this?’ His response was immediate. ‘Give it to Sting,’ he said. All of us started laughing. But Dad grew very serious. His eyes narrowed. He looked right at me, and said: ‘Give it to Sting.’ So I guess that’s my final assignment.”

And then Sumner saw the feature on Humans of NY. She immediately commented and asked HONY to connect her with the artist’s daughter whose story had touched her.

Sumner later commented, “We connected! And working out logistics. Love love love.”

The artist’s work will undoubtedly be treasured for years to come, and thanks to HONY and his daughter’s beautiful retelling, the man’s legacy as an incredible father who made sacrifices to take care of his family will live on.

via Instagram/ @humansofny
Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca