Sting’s Daughter Helps Woman Officially Fulfill Her Father’s Dying Wish

Leah Groth
·6 min read

A viral Humans of New York post helped unite Sting with a portrait painted of him by a former New York City police officer

For several years, Humans of New York’s profiles of Big Apple residents have warmed the hearts of people around the world. The stories about humanity often go viral for all the right reasons, reminding us all that love wins. Recently, the blog featured a moving story about Elizabeth, the stepdaughter of New York policeman Domingo Santiago, who was given a task by her dying stepfather — to give Sting, the rock star, a portrait he painted of him years prior. Well, thanks to Sting’s daughter, Mickey Sumner, and the publicity of the story, his wish has been granted.

According to a new update on Humans of New York’s Instagram page, Domingo’s painting has made it to the star, just over a week after the story went live.

“THE EAGLE HAS LANDED,” Humans of New York captioned of an image of Sting standing next to the portrait. “Thanks so much to @sumnermickey for helping get our precious cargo to her father. She’s also teamed up with Elizabeth to create a fundraiser in Domingo’s memory. All donations will benefit the National MS society, and aid in the fight to end Multiple Sclerosis forever. So let’s keep the party going! Link in bio.”

“Thank you @humansofny!!” Sumner, who is the eldest daughter of Sting and his longtime wife, Trudie Styler, responded in the comment. “Thank you @therebeccahenderson for sending me the post. Thank you TK for helping with logistics. Thank you @cratersandfreightersphoenixfor making the shipping process so seamless. Thank you to @theofficialsting for being the beautiful artist you are, and touching peoples hearts, and for being my dear dad!! Thank you to @mssociety for all the guidance to create our fundraiser on @gofundme. Thank you to everyone here who donated! Thank you to @aznenafor the honor of helping you with your beautiful #lastassignment – I am forever your friend. Thank you Domingo Santiago for being a such a light, a man dedicated to service and family, thank you for your art and bringing us all together. This was a collective effort !! We are all connected. LOVE & GRATITUDE stay safe everyone.”

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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 May 19, 2020 at 11:57am PDT

In the original post, Elizabeth explained that Domingo came into her live when she was just five. An aspiring artist, he opted to get a stable job as a police officer to support their family. However, during his final days of a battle with MS, when they were going through his things, she found the Sting painting in an old box and asked him what she should do with it.

“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,” she explained.

After Sumner saw the story, she immediately offered her help in getting the painting to her father. Now, she’s made it happen.

Is there anything better than a happy ending?

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