Naoma, West Virginia (CNN) -- When Dallas Peters' daughter married a coal miner, he gave her some advice that only coal miners could give.
"I told her, 'Hug him every morning, because you never know when you won't be hugging him' -- you know what I mean?"
It's a message that's crystal clear in these mountains.
Peters' son-in-law, Edward Dean Jones, 50, is among the the miners who remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the massive explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine. Monday's blast killed at least 25 and injured two others. Four are still missing.
Only four of the bodies still in the mine have been identified.
Peters described Jones as a good guy who loves his job.
The former coal miner said his daughter has returned to the mine site each day since the accident, awaiting news of her husband's fate. They've been told to hang on to a "sliver of hope," but Peters in his own way has already prepared his 13-year-old grandson for the worst.
"I said, 'Have you ever took out the garbage?' He said no. I said, well start doing it then, letting him know that he may have to do it ... which his daddy does all the time."
Rescuers were hoping to find the missing miners by midnight Friday, with Gov. Joe Manchin saying Friday evening that the "journey will be ending in 2½ to three hours."
Peters hopes that his son-in-law is one of the missing miners and they are still alive.
His daughter is quietly keeping vigil for him.
"I've been praying he's all right, and she is, too. She won't even talk. She won't talk to nobody."
CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.