Last summer I wasn't able to get much research done due to a complicated issue in my family which cost me a lot of time and emotional attention. Since it was not simply that I was sad and lazy for an entire summer, but that I was actively helping with an urgent issue in my family, I feel like it may help to briefly - in a sentence or two - explain what caused the setback and why I have grown from the experience. However, I don't know how harshly admissions committees will critique this "excuse".
Is it generally better to write about it, or to ignore it altogether? I'm asking this because I don't want to seem like I'm trying to hide a potential setback in my application, but I also don't want to shoot my own foot by rescuing what was never in danger in the first place.
I am applying for physics PhD programs in the US.