March 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM ET
The brothers of a Texas man aboard a Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished over the South China Sea said their faith and memories of their brother’s recent visit home are helping them cope.
“It was incredible. It was a gift that we did get to see him. A whole week — he spent a whole week at my parents’ house,” Tom Wood said Monday about his brother. Philip Wood, an IBM executive from Texas, was one of the flight’s passengers aboard the jet carrying 239 people that disappeared over the weekend.
Right before he left for Asia, he made the visit to see his family, his brothers recalled Monday for TODAY’s Natalie Morales.
“I got to see him a few minutes every day. We got to spend some quality time eating at dinner," Tom Wood said. "Just sitting around the kitchen table talking about fun times and things that were to come. It was something that’s making this a little bit easier.”
James Wood said U.S. State Department officials have provided details about the 40 ships and dozens of aircraft currently looking for signs of where the plane may have gone. Yet, he admitted feeling frustrated over the lack of information yielded by search crews after three days.
"We all want to know what’s going on," Tom Wood said. "We’re just waiting, just like everybody, to finally hear something to help us with this situation."
He described his entire family as “surprisingly strong through this. Having Christ in our lives has helped quite a bit."
Both men described their brother as an incredible mentor, as well as father to two sons.
“A very gentle spirit,” James Wood said. “A kind man, a loving man and a Christian man.”