On Thanksgiving, my mother’s parents were in a serious accident not far from their home in rural Missouri. They hit black ice on a highway and, I believe, fell off an overpass. My grandmother died shortly afterwards in the hospital, my grandfather went into a coma that I remember lasting for a long time. He was hospitalized for three months.
Earlier in the day, my mother had accidentally sliced her palm with a knife, requiring stitches.
I don’t remember these events very clearly, but have always had a sense that this was when my nuclear family began to crumble.