Sting’s Daughter Just Helped This Fan Grant Her Dad’s Dying Wish & We Are Bawling

If you follow the Humans of New York Instagram account, you know that it’s a frequent source of feel-good stories and moments of human connection. But the popular social media account took things a step further this week, creating a real-life happy ending out of an Instagram interaction. When Humans of New York shared the story of a young woman whose dad’s dying wish was to give the portrait he’d painted of Sting to Sting himself, Sting’s daughter Sumner Mickey reached out — and connected with the fan from the story (virtually, of course). Now, that fan has carried out her loving dad’s dying wish, and those following the story (including us) are feeing seriously emotional.

Here’s how the fan described her dad’s lifelong love of art, and how that famous Sting portrait came to be. “He worked at an auto shop, airbrushing designs onto the side of vans. I think he dreamed of being an artist,” his daughter said. “But he needed something more stable. So after he decided to marry my mom, he became a cop.”

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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.”

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“He painted a single painting — a portrait of Sting that he copied from an album cover,” she continued. “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.'”

Here’s where things get really sad. The fan’s dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and slowly became too weak for his daily activities: “It got to the point where he couldn’t even hold a paintbrush,” she recalls.

Her dad wanted to go through his possessions, and tell his daughter where he wanted each one to go. “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.”

That’s the end of the story on Humans of New York — but the beginning of the story for this fan. When Mickey read this story, she asked the account holder to DM her so she could get in touch with the fan. “Just texted her ! Will keep you posted,” she wrote, later following up: “We connected ! And working out logistics. love love love.”

It looks like that daughter can consider her final assignment checked off — and we’re sure her dad would be so, so proud.

Before you go, check out these celebrity kids who are all grown up, then and now.

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