In an exclusive interview with Christian News Journal, Janice Dean—senior meteorologist at Fox News Channel and author of a new book, Make Your Own Sunshine (Harper, March 2021)—said that now more than ever, “it’s important to count our blessings and be grateful for every day,” no matter what challenges or struggles we’re experiencing in our lives.
“It’s one day at a time,” Dean told CNJ editor Corine Gatti-Santillo in a video interview. During this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic, “everyone has experienced their own form of loss, whether it’s a job or a loved one, or not being able to see their loved ones,” she said. “This has been a trying time.”
Yet she works hard to stay positive, noting, “The sun is shining today. It feels like springtime. I’m just grateful for that.”
Dean’s determined focus on remaining positive and grateful is especially inspiring in light of the crushing losses she and her family endured last year, and from which they’re still grieving. She lost both her in-laws last year due to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial decision to force nursing homes to take infected patients into their facilities.
Her mother-in-law and her father-in-law both passed away of COVID as a result. Dean has been outspoken about that outrageous and unfortunate decision on the governor’s part—though she has never been a political person. She simply wants accountability and to make sure such a tragedy never happens again.
She began writing her new book, Make Your Own Sunshine: Inspiring Stories of People Who Find Light in Dark Times, before the pandemic, she told CNJ.
“But I conducted a lot of the interviews and wrote most of it during the pandemic. And I will tell you that I didn’t realize [it] at the time, but I think this book was meant to be written, not only to share stories of wonderful people doing kind things for others, but for me to be able to meet these people and talk about challenges they’ve been through, and how they come out on the other side.”
Despite the great challenges they faced, she said, those people all “want to better human beings.”
That’s enormously inspiring.
“So I took away more than I ever thought I would by writing this book,” she said. “In our time of darkness, I was getting light from other people simply by talking to these people and writing about their experiences.”
Dean mentioned the importance of her faith. Losing her husband’s parents “brought me closer to faith,” she said. “It brought me closer to our church and our community. I realized more than ever that that’s when we needed them. And to be able to talk to my kids about what happens after death, and where they go—that they go to heaven, and they’re happy, without any hurts or illnesses—that was really important,” she added. “We took great solace in our church, in our community.”
In terms of Bible verses, Dean said that “the one verse that I thought about pretty much every day was, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.’ Every day I would think of that—and it has brought me closer to God,” she shared of Psalm 34:18.
Janice Dean has been with Fox News Channel since January 2004. She serves as senior meteorologist, and is also morning meteorologist for Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” (weekdays 6 a.m.-9 a.m. ET).
She and her husband have two sons.
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—By Corine Gatti-Santillo and Maureen Mackey