CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- The Olds sisters are twins from Chesapeake who reached the top of their careers. Even as children, though, they made a major mark in their community. And they say it's because they were raised by a single mother who never let them settle for less than they deserved.
"Our mom was a quiet storm," says Judge Eileen Olds of the Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. "She said to me, 'I never thought your book would be about me.' And I said, 'How in the world would I tell my story without a large part of it being you?'"
In 2012, the year after their mother passed away, Judge Olds published her book, Twin Expectations: Raising the Bar, Raising Expectations, Raising Children!
"I know she knows," says Judge Olds. "She knows. She knows I finished it."
Much of the book is about Judge Olds and her twin sister, Dr. Francine Olds, an OB/GYN with a private practice in Virginia Beach. However, "Chapter 5: Creating Resilient Children" is about their mother, Frances.
"It's cliche. People say, 'You can do anything and be anybody.' But that's what she believed. She really believed it," says Dr. Olds.
They say their mother encouraged them even when others didn't, simply because of the color of their skin.
"We were never shielded from the realities of racism," says Judge Olds.
In the summer of 1968, the sisters were about to enter the 6th grade and assumed they'd be attending the state-of-the-art school being built close to their Chesapeake home. Back then, it was called Georgetown Elementary.
"They were going to have carpet on the floors, and they were going to have cold water fountains," says Judge Olds.
However, they were not going to enroll black children... until Frances Olds, a teacher herself, pressed the issue.
"She had talked to several people and the answer was always, 'No,'" says Dr. Olds.
Then, though, a surprise came.
"Two days before school started, [our mother] got a phone call from the superintendent, telling her that we would be able to integrate the school," says Dr. Olds.
With a last-minute change of heart, the Olds twins made history. They would face hatred, isolation, and setbacks, but they say it was worth it.
"All of these obstacles mean nothing in the scheme of the big plan, the master plan," says Dr. Olds.
Today, one sister brings lives into the world, and the other decides the fate of lives. But it's all because of a mother who taught them the greatest lesson of all.
"You don't have to push somebody else out of the way," says Judge Olds. "You don't have to be haughty about it. You don't have to be cutthroat. You just walk in your purpose. Do whatever it is you're designed to do, and it will work out."
Integrating their elementary school was just the first of a number of groundbreaking moments for the Olds twins.
Judge Eileen Olds says she was also the first black cheerleader at her high school. Currently, she serves as judge of the Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. She says she is the first black judge, the first female judge, and the longest-serving judge in Chesapeake.
Dr. Francine Olds says she is the first student from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine to be matched with Johns Hopkins University for internship and residency.