Aaron Lane is feared dead after falling off a towboat south of Osceola early Tuesday morning.
Several agencies joined the search, but so far Lane has not been found.
While his family is still holding out hope, they said they are also beginning to face reality.
"I hope they can find my son. I'm wishing. It's really, really hard," said Torrence Lane.
Standing on the bank of the Mississippi River near Osceola, Lane clung to hope and to a dream he had Tuesday night.
A dream his son Aaron would walk out of the murky water, which now appears to have claimed his life.
"With that smile. Because he's always smiling. And he says, 'Oh daddy that was cold, but I made it on out of there.' And we all are going to have a big laugh behind it," he said.
Wednesday crews with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office stopped searching after covering 30-"river" miles south of where lane reportedly fell off a towboat.
Mike Godsey, President of the Blytheville Emergency Squad, said after two days chances for a rescue have faded.
"It's changed to a body recovery instead of a search," said Godsey.
Aaron Lane was working as a night watchman when the accident happened.
"Oh, he loved it. Yea, he loved it," said his sister Latoya Lane.
But she was always concerned about her brother's safety.
"Oh yea, I always have worried about him being our here by his self at nighttime," she told WREG.
She prayed this disaster would have a happy ending.
And Torrence Lane said he wishes he could change one thing that had always troubled him.
"My problem was that he couldn't swim. And it really, really bothered me," Torrence said.
The Coast Guard has suspended its part of the search for Lane.
Meantime, the Blytheville Emergency Squad said it will continue its recovery efforts unless the Mississippi River becomes too rough for volunteers.